Atletico versus Valencia 'not a normal match' - Simeone


Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone avoided one major cliché on Saturday as he declared his side's clash with Valencia "is not a normal match".

Simeone's men will welcome Valencia to Madrid on Sunday, with the two sides separated by just one point in the La Liga table and potential UEFA Champions League qualification on the line.

Atletico (54 points) sit third in Spain's top flight - a position that would secure a spot in next season's Champions League group stage - while fourth position would see Valencia (53) enter the qualifying rounds of Europe's leading club competition.

While many coaches would have avoided talking about the importance of the head-to-head clash, Simeone did not shy away from it.

"It's clear it is not a normal match for both of us because it's a fight between two great rivals for the Champions League places," the Argentinian coach said at a media conference.

"It's a different match and we will need to take the match to our side to claim the victory as we want to."

Simeone was unable to avoid all clichés, however, as he avoided talking about the likelihood of his team defending their La Liga title.

"Our target is going match by match trying to win and performing well," he said.

"The club's target is finishing third or fourth."

A win on Sunday would see Atletico move within four points of leaders Real Madrid, who lost 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, while second-placed Barcelona could claim top spot with victory over Rayo Vallecano.