Simeone: Too early for favourites

Diego Simeone has said it’s too soon to pick title favourites despite Atletico Madrid topping the table with seven games to go.

Los Colchoneros have a one-point lead over Barcelona, who are second, and a three-point advantage of third-place Real Madrid.

Atletico host Villarreal at Vicente Calderon today and Simeone has told a pre-match Press conference that none of the three teams in contention has pulled away sufficiently to be named favourites.

“It’s too early to say who is stronger,” Simeone insisted.

“There are seven finals to go and whoever is better will finish first in the League.

“Historically, everything Atletico has earned has been earned painstakingly so.

“Don’t expect another quite situation, because our history is to work, work hard, with humility and always fight with the weapons we have.”

Atleti are expected to make changes to the team for the visit of the Yellow Submarine and Simeone has said the squad players are as important as the first team regulars.

“We can’t compete with only eight important players,” Simeone added.

“We need several others in the XI to take chances. If we are in this situation it’s because the guys coming in with fewer minutes still give us options.

“That is the key in this team.

“I need Adrian, Cebolla, Toby [Alderweireld], Insua…Every day these guys are more important.

“They play less than the 90 minutes but they are important minutes.”

Simeone is also under no illusions about the scale of the task facing his side on Saturday.

“We expect a very good Villarreal, with great respect,” he said.

“They are a team who play well and will try and make it a good game.”

Tags Diego Simeone