Atletico Madrid will be looking to continue their wonderful start to the season, when they visit Elche in the La Liga clash on Saturday.
The Rojiblancos are currently second in the league, three points below leaders Barcelona and three above archrivals Real Madrid. Diego Simeone's men have also qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, topping Group G without losing a game.
Atletico will be confident of clinching all three points against newly promoted Elche tonight, after hammering Getafe 7-0 in their last league game. Striker Diego Costa, who turned down a move to Liverpool in the summer, is enjoying the form of his life, scoring 14 goals from 14 La Liga games so far and is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in the top scorers list.
However, Simeone insists he will not let complacency affect his preparations for this game, especially since Elche manager Fran Escriba has worked at Atletico for two years as assistant coach between 2009 and 2011.
"The word 'easy' is one I don't understand, because the reality is that in football things are constantly changing. We focus on reality, and the reality is that Elche are always competitive and tactically astute, because they adapt well to different systems of play," Simeone stressed.
"Their coach knows our players and that will make things more difficult for us. They play very well as a team and if we don't go out on to the pitch with the energy we need to show at a ground like theirs, it'll be a very tough game for us," the manager added.
Meanwhile, Elche are currently 10th in the La Liga, after gaining promotion from the Segunda Division last season. Escriba' side was struggling with a poor run of form till recently but they ended that with a 2-1 win over Valencia last week.
Among the Elche players who are set to face Simeone's men tonight is Ruben Perez, who is at the club on a season-long loan from Atletico themselves.
"This is the best Atletico Madrid side I have ever seen, but that doesn't mean they cannot be beaten. We have to play to our strengths, be very strong defensively and make the most of the chances we make if we want to win," Ruben said.
Elche: Escriba will be without Manu and Alvaro Gimenez for this clash.
Atletico: Mario Suarez, Leo Baptistao and Jose Maria Gimenez remain sidelined for Simeone.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for an 8.30 pm IST start on Saturday, with live coverage on Star Sports HD1. You can also live stream the match online by clicking the official link HERE. To catch the action via live streaming in the U.S., click HERE. Viewers in North Africa and the Middle East can click HERE.
Elche Herrera; Lomban, Suarez, Edu Albacar, Botia; Rivera, Sanchez, Javi Marquez, Stevanovic, Fidel; Boakye
Atletico: Courtois; Juanfran, Alderweireld, Miranda, Insua; Gabi, Koke; Turan, Raul Garcia, Villa; Costa
Prediction: 4-1 to Atletico