Simeone expects focused Valencia

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone firmly believes that Valencia's off-field problems will have no bearing on the team when they turn up at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.

 Jonas Goncalves of Valencia

Valencia were put up for sale last week by creditors Bankia, who struggled to deal with the club's colossal debts, the latest setback in what has been a chaotic season on and off the pitch.

Coach Miroslav Djukic has been rumoured to be about to lose his job on more than one occasion, while defender Adil Rami was expelled from the club for criticising his team-mates and Djukic in public.

But in his pre-match press conference, Simeone said: "We haven't been focusing on what's been going on around Valencia, we have been focusing on their team and for me they have grown in the last few matches, they are much more balanced now.

"It's a dangerous game from our point of view because they have been playing well, they have great individuals and we hope we can play how we need to, so we can get the result we want."

Valencia are ninth in the Primera Division table while Atletico share the league's summit with Barcelona, but Simeone warned his side would not be complacent.

He said: "When a team have so many good players you have to pay them attention because they are obviously a dangerous team."

And despite his side's lofty position in the table, the Argentinian again refused to be drawn on his side's hopes of winning the league title, saying: "We take the view which we believe is the most realistic and fair, which is to treat every match as if it were our last."

Valencia will be without captain Ricardo Costa while goalkeeper Vicente Guaita is a doubt.

Atletico's only absentee is Mario Suarez, who has been suffering from a calf injury for six weeks.

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