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Cerezo expecting full-strength Barca test

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has played down suggestions that Barcelona will not be at their best for the Liga finale on May 17.

The current holders face an uphill task to retain their crown after dropping points against Getafe at the weekend but were boosted by Atleti’s defeat to Levante and Real Madrid being held by Valencia.

Barca may be out of the running by the time they face Atleti on the final day while Diego Simeone’s men could be competing with Real for the title.

However, Cerezo dismissed the notion that Barca would roll over to help Atleti claim the title ahead of bitter rivals Real.

“I have been doing my sums all weekend and right now they work out in our favour, because we have our fate in our own hands. If we win, we’ll have no problems,” Marca quotes him as saying.

“Barcelona will come out to win, they’ll want to win, and so will we.

“They play at home and, even if they don’t win the championship, they’ll want to end the season on a high.”

Cerezo, who refuted talk that Atletico may offer “maletines” (briefcase) payments to opponents of Barca and Real to encourage them to get results, also said there were no thoughts currently on the UEFA Champions League final.

Instead of the showpiece against Real in Lisbon, he said focus was simply on ensuring Simeone’s men beat Malaga on Sunday.

“I don’t have any thoughts on that match yet; my thoughts are focused on Malaga in the league,” he added.

Tue 6 May, 2014
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