Simeone: I am not a fortune teller

Diego Simeone is not planning on gazing into a crystal ball or using tarot cards to predict if Barcelona will slip up in La Liga.

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone says he is not a "fortune teller" and does not know if Barcelona will slip up in an intriguing La Liga title race.

Antoine Griezmann came off the bench to score the winner as Atletico beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday.

That followed third-placed Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad, while Barcelona maintained top spot with a 2-0 triumph at Real Betis later on Saturday.

When asked if he sees Barca slipping up, Simeone simply said: "I am not a fortune teller."

Atleti are battling for honours on two fronts and take a 1-0 lead to Bayern Munich for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie on Tuesday.

With Atleti in such a crucial period of their season, Simeone opted to make seven changes from the side that beat Bayern at the Calderon in midweek.

"We bet on fresh players," he added. "The match needed that, so later on the pitch we wanted to try, if needed, to push with the most important players during the second half.

"The match was as I imagined at the beginning, so we took an important victory in a moment when points are the most important thing."