The Rojiblancos’ hunt for a second domestic crown under their boss will be decided on Saturday as they jostle for a sophomore triumph
Diego Simeone says that Atletico Madrid will “give their lives” in order to be crowned champions of La Liga this weekend, as the title race goes down to the wire with Real Madrid.
The Rojiblancos, who have led the top flight for the majority of the 2020-21 campaign, head into the final matchday against Real Valladolid two points ahead of Zinedine Zidane’s crosscity rivals and current holders.
Yet owing to Los Blancos’ superior head-to-head record, any tie at the summit would see Atletico let the title slip through their fingers, while Sergio’s hosts at Estadio Jose Zorrilla are fighting for their own survival against relegation – and Simeone fully expects both clubs to commit to a metaphorical life-or-death encounter.
What has been said?
“[It is] a final where two teams fight for different goals,” the Argentine told his pre-game press conference ahead of the clash. “Both are going to give their lives to achieve [those goals].
“As we have been throughout the season, we will be immersed in solving our game. We will try to take it to where we can harm them.
“It has been a very long season in which we have all gone through many situations. This is La Liga, and we find ourselves fighting for the title.”
Atletico’s permutations explained
As Simeone looks to secure the second domestic league crown of his tenure at Wanda Metropolitano, he will know that victory against Valladolid is the only surefire way to secure a sophomore title.
Madrid, who will play Europa League-chasing Villarreal, face their own tough test, but a victory for Zidane’s side would be their only way to stay in with a shout.
If Los Blancos win, then no other result but victory will hand Atletico the title – defeat would mean that Madrid pip them by a point, while a draw would still see the title go to Santiago Bernabeu, as they have a worse head-to-head record with their rivals, have lost their first encounter in December, with the spoils shared in the reverse.