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Atletico Madrid v Valencia: Atletico look to build momentum

Atletico Madrid will look to build on a strong result in the Champions League when they host Valencia on Sunday.

Diego Simeone’s side sit level with Benfica on six points in Group C having thumped Astana 4-0 in midweek, but their domestic performances this season have been slightly less impressive.

A run of one victory in three games has seen them slip to fourth place, albeit four points better off than Sunday night’s visitors to the Vicente Calderon.

Jackson Martinez scored his first goal since August in the win against Astana, and Simeone hopes to see the Colombian playing with renewed confidence.

“A striker’s position is different because in most cases they live off scoring goals,” Simeone said.

“The way the players celebrated shows the commitment and the team spirit among the entire group. The goal will give him confidence and more belief in himself.”

Valencia also come into the game boosted by a midweek Champions League victory – in their case over Gent.

And, although it was an own-goal that ultimately clinched the win against the Belgian side, Nuno’s men are starting to look like a side on the up having won four of their last five games in all competitions.

A run of just one win in their opening five games had left them languishing in the lower reaches of the La Liga table, but they have since recovered some form to sit eighth.

Santi Mina looked lively during the Tuesday’s clash with Gent and is keen to register his first goal in Valencia colours this weekend.

“Every stadium is good to get your first goal, including the Vicente Calderon,” he said. “I want to score to help the team.

“We have to keep our focus because they are a very strong team who will put us under suffocating pressure.

“But if we play our game, move the ball quickly and have that bit of luck we’ve been lacking in front of goal in recent matches, we can do well.

“The players are calm, we know that if we keep working hard, it will come.”

Fri 23 Oct, 2015
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