Alcacer: ‘Atleti are favourites’

Valencia striker Paco Alcacer considers Atletico Madrid are favourites in Sunday’s vital clash between the sides at the Vicente Calderon.

Atleti sit third in the table on 54 points, one ahead of Los Che, and victory for either team would go a long way in helping secure an automatic Champions League spot for next season.

“We realise we will be going to the Calderon to take away anything we can,” Alcacer told a Press conference.

“Our aim is to get into the Champions League and we want all three points, yet it’s obvious they will be favourites because they are the reigning La Liga champions.

“They will want to win, that’s normal, but so do we. The advantage they have is that they are playing at home, but that’s something we mustn’t think about and we’ll need to counter it with the spirit we have shown recently.”

Nonetheless, the Spain international denied that Valencia would be happy to play for a draw from the outset against Diego Simeone’s men.

“The important thing is to go there with a winning mentality. Then, as the game progresses, we’ll see if a draw is good or not. The thing about this team is that it always goes out to win.

“Every game is different and it depends on the players. The only difference between us and them is that they won the League and we didn’t.

“We are two intense teams and it will be a hard-fought match. It will be 11 against 11 and the team that’s most assertive will be victorious.”

Alcacer, 21, has missed the last three games after picking up a knee injury in the 2-1 win at Espanyol in early March, but insists he is on the verge of a return to Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting line-up.

“My recovery is going quite well and I’ve started to train with the rest of the players. The knee is great, although it’s not 100 per cent, but it’s getting better every day.

“I’m determined to get back into the team. Even so, getting into the Valencia side is not easy,” he maintained.

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