Atletico Madrid Coach Diego Simeone believes Valencia will have to have a catastrophic season to miss out on a Champions League place.
Valencia host the champions this weekend and have started the season in strong form, taking 14 points from a possible 18 to move joint-second with Atleti behind Barcelona.
The Valencia camp have in the build-up to the match suggested Atletico’s style of play is too rough but Simeone decided not to retaliate at his pre-match Press conference.
“I’ve not listened to what they said because we were in competition until yesterday,” he revealed, AS reports.
“I’ll respond with what I think of Valencia – they’re a great team who play at a good tempo and have a good squad.
“Without playing in Europe this season they will have to get it wrong to not be in the top four.”
The game comes only a few days after Atletico hosted Italian champions Juventus in the Champions League, claiming a 1-0 win.
Simeone downplayed talk of tiredness among the squad, however, and instead wants the focus on the Valencia match itself.
“We’re not interested [in talk of fatigue]. We hope to have a good game and it’s important to fix what we can, not what we can’t,” he added.
“We’re against a great team that has developed a good squad and has a great Coach. They counter-attack very well and handling it will require a great effort.
“We’ve got time to see if anyone else recovers and joins the squad. The idea is to go into the game with no excuses.”