Simeone not focused on leapfrogging Real Sociedad at LaLiga summit

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Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone insists his focus is on beating Real Valladolid this weekend and not on the prospect of overtaking Real Sociedad at the summit of LaLiga. 

Atleti are the only side in the Spanish top flight to have not suffered defeat yet this season, a start which has them one place and a point behind leaders Real Sociedad, who have played two games more. 

Atleti have also conceded just two goals in their nine league games, the joint-lowest total at this stage of the season in LaLiga's history.

Given Atleti's superb recent record over Saturday's visitors to the Wanda Metropolitano – they have won nine of their last 10 games against Pucela – many expect Los Colchoneros to leapfrog La Real into top spot before Imanol Alguacil's men visit Deportivo Alaves on Sunday. 

Simeone is refusing to get carried away, though, and does not think his side will have it all their own way against Valladolid, who have picked up seven points from their previous three LaLiga games after earning just three points in their first eight outings.

"We understand that Real Sociedad are having a very good season," he told a media conference. 

"But now we are concerned about Valladolid. The coach has improved the team and found players who can do what he wants well and know how to play his game.

"The team has been representing him very well in the last three games."

Simeone will be able to call upon the services of Luis Suarez again after the Uruguayan returned a negative coronavirus test.

The former Barcelona forward missed Atletico's last four matches after he contracted COVID-19 while away on international duty last month.

Suarez had been in fine form for Atletico, with five goals in his first six LaLiga appearances.

The striker's 1.2 goals per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the division to have played at least three matches, with Valencia's Manu Vallejo (1.02) next best.

Simeone will make a late call on the 33-year-old's fitness, but he is excited at the prospect of him linking up again with Atleti's array of attacking midfielders. 

"The characteristics of Luis are known to everyone," he said. "We have to maintain the form that we showed in recent games, which is to keep pressure on the goal. 

"We have players who are good at arriving from midfield and we will add Luis' characteristics to our team's play."

It remains to be seen if Yannick Carrasco will join Suarez in the squad after the Belgian suffered a knee injury in the midweek Champions League draw with Bayern Munich. 

The club released a statement on Friday saying he could not train and that his condition would continue to be monitored.


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