Atletico Madrid v Villarreal: Hosts want more of the same

Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez has called for more of the same as his side prepare to host Villarreal on Sunday.

While much of the attention has been on Real Madrid and their 19-match winning streak, as well as the arrival of Luis Suarez at Barcelona, last season's Liga champions have quietly gone about their work.

Diego Simeone's side lie third in the table, just four points behind their in-form city rivals Real.

A run of five successive wins ended in Turin on Tuesday, but Atletico's goalless UEFA Champions League draw at Juventus was enough to ensure they finished on top of Group A - meaning they could avoid some of European football's heavyweights in Monday's draw for the last 16.

It was a thoroughly professional performance from Atleti, who abandoned their usual high pressing game, instead happy to sit back and get numbers behind the ball.

And it worked a treat as a frustrated Juve - three-time defending Serie A champions - had no answers.

In fact the best chance of the game fell to Atletico, a telling sign of just how well Simeone prepared his side.

Reverting back to their usual style is expected in the Spanish capital on Sunday as Atleti go about extending their run of clean sheets to six.

"We have to continue like this, in the game-by-game, and we will go well," Suarez said.

"The best teams in Europe are in the Champions League knockout stage and they will be hard.

"But they also know Atletico will be a very tough opponent.

"We train to play but the coach decides [who plays] and today he decided to go for me. I'm always working to help the team."

The likes of Antoine Griezmann and Alessio Cerci were rested in Italy, giving Simeone more options ahead of Sunday's clash.

They face a Villarreal side who are also in good form, though, with three successive Liga wins lifting them to sixth in the table.

Last week's 4-0 home demolition of Real Sociedad was particularly impressive but lots will pend on how they recover from a UEFA Europa League trip to Cyprus to face Apollon on Thursday.

Villarreal have not beaten Atletico since 2010, losing four of the five matches since.

And the hosts have scored in their last 10 matches against Villarreal.