Koke believes Atletico can challenge Barca

Atletico Madrid's Spanish international midfielder Koke believes that his team are in the kind of form that could see them mount a serious challenge to Barcelona's defense of La Liga.

Koke is happy with how Atleti have performed so far but is eager to see them continue their run against the champions on Wednesday.

"This must continue – we haven't done anything yet, we are just starting and now play Barcelona," Koke said in an interview with Marca.

"We need all the enthusiasm in the world to bring back three points.

"It is a very difficult game against one of the best teams in the world, but we have the desire to compete and win there."

The 24-year-old is happy with the preparation the Madrid side have had and feels they will be able to go toe-to-toe with the two-time defending champions.

"It has been a very good week with three wins. Our pace is increasing with each game and we are very well prepared physically.

"The midfield has felt good, I think also the [Sporting] game was a bit easy at first, because we were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes.

"We felt comfortable and were pressing well in the midfield."