Sevilla defender Federico Fazio claims the club can eye the Champions League places this season.
Los Nervionenses take on Atletico Madrid at the Sanchez Pizjuan in their opening 2013-14 La Liga game on Sunday night, and the Argentine already sees the clash as a potential six-pointer.
“Last year they finished third and won the Copa del Rey, so they had a fantastic season. This year we are also hopeful. We’ve just had a good pre-season and I think we’ve got a team to fight for a Champions League spot alongside them,” he told AS.
“It will be a very difficult game for both teams but the good thing is that we are playing at home and are optimistic we can take something from it.”
As a central defender, Fazio is expecting a difficult time against Atleti frontmen David Villa and Diego Costa.
“They are two great strikers, of that there is no doubt. We know them well and it won’t be easy to stop them.
“However, we must concentrate for the full 90 minutes and try not to make any mistakes. One slight error and they will take advantage of it.
“With Diego Costa we all know what kind of player he is. He plays on your shoulder and can score goals. He’s very good and will be difficult to keep quiet.”
Atletico eliminated Sevilla from the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage last season and won both La Liga games, 4-0 at home and 1-0 away, but Fazio maintains it will have no bearing on Sunday’s clash.
“That’s in the past. It’s true they knocked us out in the semi-final but we can’t think about that.
“It’s a new season about which we are very excited, so we are going into this game with thoughts of revenge,” he explained.