Diego Simeone’s admiration for in-form Villarreal means he will resist the temptation to field a weakened team in their meeting at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.
Villarreal are unbeaten in 11 La Liga games, a run that has taken Marcelino Garcia Toral’s men up to fourth place, just two places and six points behind Atletico.
And Simeone has no intention of taking them lightly even though Atletico return to Champions League action on Wednesday with a trip to PSV.
He told reporters: “They are a very good side, fighting for fourth place, with a good lead over fifth. Their numbers are very good. The team as a whole are very strong with a clear idea of how they want to play.
“I have an idea of what I want to do [in terms of team selection] but we play every game thinking about how important it is. And there is nothing more important than the match against Villarreal.”
A rare goal from Fernando Torres enabled Atletico to win 1-0 at Getafe last time out and Simeone is hoping that will spur on the home supporters at the Vicente Calderon.
“The team is working well. We come from a good result away from home and a home win against Eibar and we want to continue on that path,” he said.
“We need a stadium that transmits the importance of the game. I hope that they [the fans] will be cheering and making themselves heard during the game because we need them.”
Simeone will be able to call on defender Stefan Savic on Sunday following a two-game absence.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!