Atlético travel to the Mestalla to take on Valencia on Saturday in good spirits, after a week that saw two great victories over two equally impressive sides.
The stage is set for an early afternoon kick-off at 16:00 CET.
The 1-0 European win against Juventus in midweek was exactly what Atleti needed to put some wind in their Champions League sails, and this was the cherry on top of what was a convincing league win at home to Sevilla last Saturday.
Atleti currently sit third in the league, level on points but one place behind our opponents Valencia.
Los Che are also enjoying an unbeaten start to their domestic campaign, and have only conceded three goals all season.
Coming up against a revitalised Atleti side is a different matter entirely.
Having Simeone back at the helm has heralded five goals and two clean sheets for Los Rojiblancos, and Cholo will be hoping for a victory in the same vein tomorrow. He knows it will be a tough ask.
“We don’t want to underestimate Valencia by talking about a victory already. We will talk only about the match we are going to play,” he told the media before the match.
“We’re hoping to play a big game tomorrow, and be competitive against a Valencia side that are growing and forming a brilliant team.”
“They have a great coach, and work very well on the counter-attack. Our players will have to work very hard.”
And keeping with the mindset that delivered a glorious campaign last year, the Argentinean insisted Atleti take things ‘partido a partido’. Match by match.
Simeone will have almost a full squad to choose from, with the exception of Cristian Rodriguez, still missing after suffering an injury on duty with Uruguay, and Mario Suarez, who has a hamstring strain.
Saul could be in line for his third straight start, with Mandzukic expected to continue leading the line up top.
Raul Jimenez, despite scoring his first goal for the club in the closing stages against Sevilla, didn’t feature midweek, so may get the nod to start alongside the Croatian. He’ll have to fight off Antoine Griezmann though, who only featured from the bench against Juventus.
Goalkeepers: Moya, Oblak
Defenders: Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira, Gamex, Ansaldi, Gimenez
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Gabi, Arda, Cerci, Raul Garcia, Saul
Forwards: Raul Jimenez, Griezmann, Mandzukic.