Koke braced for ‘very difficult’ Barca test

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke admits his side will "need all the enthusiasm in the world" when they lock horns with defending La Liga champions Barcelona on Wednesday.

After a stuttering start to the campaign, which saw Diego Someone's men collect just two points from their opening two La Liga fixtures, Atletico have managed to record big back-to-back wins.

Having recorded draws against minnows Deportivo Alavés and Leganés in their opening two fixtures, the Mattress Makers bounced in emphatic fashion, clinching a 4-0 victory away to Celta Vigo, before cruising to a 5-0 win over Sporting Gijón at the weekend.

However, they will face their sternest test of the new campaign when they come up against Luis Enrique's side, who have three wins and one defeat from their first four Primera Division fixtures.

"This must continue – we haven't done anything yet, we are just starting and now play Barcelona," Koke was quoted as saying by 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.

"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."