Midfielder Tiago is eager to ensure Atletico Madrid are not brought back down to earth with a bump at Getafe on Sunday.
Diego Simeone’s men, who hold a slender one-point advantage at the summit of La Liga, are riding the crest of a wave after defeating Barcelona – their nearest domestic rivals – in midweek to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Atletico can now look forward to a mouth-watering tie against Chelsea, managed by former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, in the last four of Europe’s premier club competition.
Yet Tiago, who played for Chelsea under Mourinho during the 2004-05 season, insists there is no danger of he and his team-mates becoming sidetracked as they edge ever closer to a sensational double.
Atleti will be clear favourites this weekend against a Getafe side in the relegation zone and boasting just one win in 17 matches in 2014, particularly as November’s reverse fixture at Vicente Calderon ended in a 7-0 victory for the Liga leaders.
However, Getafe have avoided defeat on the last five occasions they have welcomed their city rivals to Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
“We have a very difficult game on Sunday,” warned Tiago on Friday.
“We are in a moment that the team cannot look at the other side. We look forward, we want to recover well (following Tuesday’s victory over Barca) and be ready and prepared to arrive at Getafe and not think of anything more than the victory.”
Atleti’s second-leg triumph over Barca, sealed by Koke’s early goal, was all the more impressive given that star striker Diego Costa was absent due to a hamstring injury.
Playmaker Arda Turan also missed out with a groin problem and it remains to be seen whether either player will be fit to return on Sunday as Atleti seek to win a seventh league game in succession.
Jorge Sammir and Sergio Escudero, who are each recovering from injuries, trained separately from Getafe’s squad earlier this week, while Jaime Gavilan (hamstring) is likely to miss out.
And Getafe coach Cosmin Contra is in no doubt as to the size of the task facing his 18th-placed team.
“We’re playing against the best team in Spain right now,” said the Romanian.
“They’re in good form, they will be euphoric and with huge confidence.”
After belatedly claiming their first win of the year with a shock 3-1 victory at Valencia on March 30, Getafe suffered a painful 1-0 defeat against Elche last time out, courtesy of Richmond Boakye’s late strike.
“The players are still a bit down with their morale, because we lost our last game against Elche in the last play of the game,” added Contra.
“There’s no time to cry about it, though, and now we have give everything we’ve got and have faith we can do this (avoid relegation).
“We have to give everything and be aggressive. That’s the idea I’m trying to convey to the players.”
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