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Spanish Primera BBVA

Vicente Calderon (ATT 50,000) 26th February 2012 - Kick off 20:30 Ref: M Perez Lasa

A Madrid Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Barcelona

A Madrid 1

Falcao (49)

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Barcelona 2

D Alves (36)
L Messi (81)

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Atletico Madrid v Barcelona preview

Barca determined to chase leaders Real

Last Updated: 25/02/12 10:40am

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Keita: Determined to chase Real

Keita: Determined to chase Real

Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita insists his side cannot be written off in the title race just yet, even though they face a tough ask to catch Primera Division leaders Real Madrid.

Just four wins in seven league matches since the start of 2012 have seen Pep Guardiola's men slip 10 points off the pace set by their great rivals.

SKY BET ODDS

Atletico Madrid 11/2, Draw 10/3, Barcelona 1/2. Bet now.

A 5-1 hammering of Valencia last weekend helped raise spirits among Barca's ranks, and they will need to build on that when they travel to Atletico Madrid if they are to keep Real in their sights.

However, Keita is adamant there is still everything to play for with 15 matches of the campaign remaining.

"The season is long and anything can happen in football," the Malian said on www.fcbarcelona.com.

"We will do our very best to try to win as many games as possible.

"This (Atletico) is a very important match and, with 10 points between us, we can't afford to drop any more points. However, Atletico is a team that's so strong now - it will be tough and difficult.

"Anything can happen in football and we'll fight to the end. If Madrid are leaders, it's because they deserve to be.

"We just have to do everything we can to win as many games as possible."

Injured duo David Villa and Ibrahim Afellay remain on the sidelines for Barca.

Confident

Atletico lie sixth in La Liga, but a 4-1 aggregate victory over Lazio in the Europa League in midweek has left coach Diego Simeone and his players in confident mood ahead of the visit of Barca.

Simeone said: "We were very happy with the match against Lazio. The response was very good from the lads.

"The good thing about us is that we do not underestimate anyone, we have a lot of respect for our opponents.

"We're now ready to go against Barcelona and will aim for the best performance we can give."

Midfielder Juanfran echoed his manager's sentiments, saying: "It will be an incredible game for us with our team against Barcelona. Let's go for the three points that we need."

Arda Turan (thigh), Salvio (ankle) and Adrian (muscle) are all expected to play for Atletico despite suffering from various knocks.

Best bet: Lionel Messi to score a brace - 6/4

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Matches

Table

Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Atletico Madrid 33 82
2 Real Madrid 33 79
3 Barcelona 33 78
4 Athletic Bilbao 33 62
5 Sevilla 33 56
6 Villarreal 33 52
7 Real Sociedad 33 51
8 Valencia 33 44
9 Espanyol 33 41
10 Levante 33 40
11 Malaga 33 38
12 Celta Vigo 33 37
13 Granada 33 37
14 Rayo Vallecano 33 37
15 Elche 33 35
16 Osasuna 33 34
17 Real Valladolid 33 32
18 Getafe 33 31
19 Almeria 33 30
20 Real Betis 33 22

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