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Juanfran confident Atletico can challenge

Diego Simeone's side have only lost once this season and sit second in the league, three points behind defending champions and leaders Barca and three clear of city rivals Real.

Atletico finished 24 points adrift of Barca last season, but have won 12 of their opening 14 Liga games this term and boast  a 100 per cent record at home in all competitions.

A 7-0 demolition of Getafe on Saturday ensured Atletico remain ahead of Real and the 28-year-old defender believes Simeone's men have the qualities to fight for the title.

"The truth is that the fans have to be quite proud of his team," he said after the win over Getafe.

"Hopefully we can be in these positions until the end, fighting with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

"It is complicated because there are many days you have to be very regular, but we are taking a very good dynamic with the premise that we have, and we are doing so well going game by game, and playing every game as if it were your last. We have to go on to the end."

Atletico return to UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday having already qualified for the knockout stages after four consecutive wins in Group G.