Atletico boss Simeone wary of Osasuna threat

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone warned his players they must step up again when taking on Osasuna at home.

Osasuna will host Atletico on Sunday with just two defeats in their past seven La Liga fixtures at home.

Simeone argued on Saturday that it will be a tough test for his team as they look to move level with Real Madrid at the top of the table on 63 points.

Real moved top for just the second time this season on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Elche, while Barcelona suffered a shock 3-1 loss at Real Sociedad to slip to second.

Atleti will leapfrog the Catalans with a draw, while they would need a five-goal win in Pamplona to regain the overall lead.

"It will be a difficult game against a rival who will feel comfortable on their own pitch, with an intense pace," Simeone said.

"We have to get on to the pitch with confidence because they will be a strong opponent with great enthusiasm and creativity.

"They also need a win, like us. I think that will make a fun game."

Osasuna sit 14th in La Liga, just four points clear of the relegation zone, and Javi Garcia's men have not lost in their past two matches - a 0-0 draw away to Elche and a 2-0 win over Getafe.

A win for Simeone's side would set up next week's El Derbi madrileno perfectly, as Atleti would host Real in a top-of-the-table clash.

The Argentine coach believes his team are getting used to the pressure that comes with challenging for the title, while also competing in the UEFA Champions League, in which they defeated Milan 1-0 in a round-of-16 first leg on Wednesday.

"Over the months we are getting used to the responsibility of being in this club and the need to give our best in every match," Simeone said.

"For the moment we don't have to think about the Champions League until March 11.

"Now we have to face the match against Osasuna. We need to win it. We know we won't have it easy."


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