Diego Simeone has claimed it is too early to say whether his Atletico Madrid team are contenders for the title.
The capital club have lost just once in their first 11 games of the campaign, and go into Sunday’s match with Athletic Bilbao looking for the three points that will take them one point behind leaders Barcelona.
“Athletic are a difficult opponent, with great players and a great coach,” he told a Press conference.
“Athletic are always going to be a competitive side and not being in Europe makes them more solid.
“Both teams come into the game on the back of significant [midweek] efforts. The team that responds best physically and tactically will get more out of the game.
“[The fixture list] is hard. We’re putting in a huge effort. Keeping on winning and winning is hard. Sunday’s game is a tough game and we’ll need the support from the stands.
“We hope that, with a greater effort than we’re used to, we’ll be up to the challenge because they’re a strong opponent.
“At what point are we title contenders? With five games to go.”