Luis Enrique believes his Barcelona side will have to “play a complete game” if they are to overcome title rivals Atletico Madrid in a must-win clash on Wednesday night.
The two teams are separated by just one point ahead of their meeting at Camp Nou, though both trail LaLiga leaders Real Madrid with four games played.
However, Luis Enrique sees Atleti challenging for top spot again this season, having won the title in 2014, and he was gushing in his praise of Diego Simeone’s men as he prepares for a game he declares Barca have to win.
“They look like they’re practically the same team that was so successful in the last few years, especially the way they defend and in other aspects of play like transition game, counterattack,” Luis Enrique told a news conference. “They’re very good at set-pieces.
“And with their new players and their other players, they’re one of the best teams in [LaLiga]. They’re aspiring to all the titles on the table, like they have in recent years with Simeone as their coach.
“And we have to do a lot of things well. Commit very few errors, play our game, try to control possession – we have to play a complete game.
“There hasn’t been any easy game against them in the last few years. They’re a very direct team. We have to beat them in order to win the title. We’re going to need to do everything well in order to beat them.”
He added: “They’re very solid, they play great defensively. They’re capable of creating pressure up high. And defensively they’re probably the best team and that’s how complex it is to beat them. That’s indicative of the work they do.
“They have very good players in attack as well. A lot of options to attack both up the middle and out on the wing. When you put all these things together, it turns out to be a very complicated team [to play against].”
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