Atleti ready to break Europa record

Holders Atletico Madrid will attempt to extend their record-breaking Europa League run to 16 successive matches when they welcome Academica to the Vicente Calderon.

The Atletico players celebrate Falcao's goal.

Atletico's winning streak in Europe stretches back a year and includes victories over the likes of Valencia, Lazio, and Athletic Bilbao, who they beat 3-0 in May's final to win the competition fro the second time in three years.

The Spanish side are not only in great form on the continent either. They have not tasted defeat anywhere since a 4-1 derby mauling by Real Madrid in April and a victory on Thursday would be their 11th on the trot in all competitions this season

Another triumph on Thursday would see them move onto nine points in Group B and coach Diego Simeone said: "A win would be very important with regards the objective we have to finish first in the group."

Atletico's superb run means they are overwhelming favourites to pick up a three-point haul against an Academica side who have only earned one point from their two Group B games and are without a win in Europe since 1969.

However, Atletico midfielder Tiago is taking nothing for granted against his fellow Portuguese, saying: "We are favourites but you don't win any game before it's played, so we'll have to show how good and how strong we are on the pitch tomorrow [Thursday]."

Academica make the short hop across to Spain having had a mixed start to their domestic season.

They have seven points from their opening six Super Lig games, four of which finished in draws, while at the weekend they claimed a 3-1 win at Ponte da Barca in the cup.

Simone said of their opponents: "It's a competitive team and the games I've seen they have shown themselves to be very quick coming out and who defend in numbers."



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