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Friday, 23 October 2015

Atletico Madrid - Valencia Preview: Top-four rivals look to build on Champions League momentum


Atletico Madrid will look to build on a strong result in the Champions League when they host Valencia in La Liga 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 less impressive.
A run of one victory in three games has seen them slip to fourth place, though they sit four points ahead of 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 push on with renewed confidence.
The coach said: "A striker's position is different because in most cases they live off scoring goals.
"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 a narrow 2-1 win over Belgian side Gent.
An own goal ultimately clinched the win for Nuno's men, who are enjoying a strong run of form having won four of their last five games in all competitions.
Just one win in their opening five games had left Valencia languishing in the lower reaches of the table, but their recovery since has lifted them to eighth.
Young forward Santi Mina looked lively during the 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."

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