Jose Manuel Casado is anticipating a tough challenge for Rayo Vallecano this weekend from opponents Atletico Madrid and their striker Radamel Falcao.
Rayo are currently undefeated in the League, but travel to the Vicente Calderon this Sunday evening, a ground they have not won at since August 1999.
“I believe Atletico are a team that presses their opponent a lot, Simeone has changed their identity,” began Casado today.
“They’re a team that puts in a lot of intensity and from the first minute are fighting for the game. They are aiming to get into the Champions League and we will see in them a more dangerous team than last year.”
The key threat is striker Falcao, agrees Casado, who has suggested one way of minimising his impact.
“The numbers speak for themselves, Falcao will get two or three goals a game. We have to be very aware to restrict him to touch the ball as little as possible.
“He is a good player that we have to keep outside of the penalty area, where he will lose some of his danger. He is a great finisher, so it will cost him more and hurt us less if he is out of the area.
“I think he is a good footballer, but Atletico are now a team, not just one footballer, even if Falcao can make the difference. He arrives here on a roll that we will try to stop.”
It is the first of a derby double header for Rayo, who then welcome Real Madrid to Vallecas the following weekend.
“We have started well, we had three tough matches but we have taken seven points from nine. Now we face two tough matches. First we visit Atletico, one of the toughest places to go nowadays.
“We are not yet thinking about Real Madrid, we are thinking only about the good start we have made, that has gained us some self-esteem.
“We have shut up many people and now we have to try to continue to progress, without losing confidence, in order to try and get something out of the Calderon.”