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Simeone: Atletico depth denying second string

After 12 rounds of the domestic campaign, six Atletico players have played every game, while three others have missed two at most.

The other clubs in the top-three - Barcelona and Real Madrid - have just two and four players who have featured in every match in the league but although Atletico have relied heavily on the likes of David Villa, Diego Costa, Koke and Diego Godin, Simeone is convinced he has plenty of options.

"People from the outside seem to think we are title contenders but I am not the one to judge it," Simeone said.

"All I can say is that the team is fine and working hard which means it's really hard for me to leave out players every week.

"I just told you about Josuha Guilavogui, he's training well but it's hard to give him the minutes he deserves.

"A few players have done really well in games, they have played recently but haven't had much time.

"(Emiliano) Insua's also been more than deserving of a chance."

Atletico moved back within a point of league-leaders Barcelona with their win over Bilbao and they remain five points clear of capital city rivals Real.

Villa and Costa scored for Atletico at the Estadio Vicente Calderon with the latter notching his 13th goal of the 2013-14 season and his 15th in as many matches in all competitions.

Costa's form has seen Spain go chasing the Brazilian-born striker for their national team and Simeone reckons the 25-year-old is 'developing hugely'.

"What Diego Costa is doing is amazing in all senses, not only because of today's goal, which he scored thanks to great movement but also he's developing hugely as a player," he said.

"He has become a key striker for the team and in terms of the support he gives the team, involvement in our system and the way he connects with the team up, he is helping to improve our game.

"He is constantly adding things to his game that will make him improve as an individual. That's what we expect, his age is perfect for developing and hopefully we will see him continue to do that."

Bilbao remain fifth after Sunday's loss but the defeat saw them fall 13 points behind Atletico and the Basque club's coach Ernesto Valverde conceded his team are simply not on par with the top three clubs in La Liga.

"When one team is moving further away from the rest, it's clear that they are better," Valverde said.

"It's no coincidence they are at the top of the table.

"Atleti are very, very strong. I thought we started the game well but after that they were better than us. We were well beaten."