Valencia take on Atletico Madrid in mouthwatering La Liga clash

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Arguably the biggest game of the weekend in La Liga comes from the Mestalla, where high-flying Valencia and Atletico Madrid go head-to-head on Saturday afternoon.

Second are up against third in what should be a cracking contest between two sides that are only separated by goal difference in the table.

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Unbeaten records

Both teams are among the four that are still unbeaten after the opening six matches in the Primeira Division, along with sixth-placed Celta Vigo and leaders Barcelona.

Atletico faced a similar scenario going into their clash with Sevilla last weekend, and blew Unai Emery’s men away with a thumping 4-0 win at Vicente Calderon. A performance of that kind would be more than welcome again tomorrow against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

In recent years, grinding out results in hard-fought matches has become a trademark for Atleti under Diego Simeone. They thrive on the big occasion and this will be no different whatsoever.

They may not have started the season at their blistering best - Rayo Vallecano held them to a goalless draw on the opening day while they held on to only beat newly-promoted Eibar by a single goal. A shock defeat at Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League followed before they were pegged back by a vast-improving Celta Vigo a few days later.

Nevertheless Atleti already have more silverware to their name as they edged out rivals Real in the Supercopa de Espana, before also overcoming them in the league at Santiago Bernabeu.

Their rout of Sevilla was a real statement of intent with Simeone back on the touchline following another ban, and their quality eventually got the better of Italian champions Juventus in Europe on Wednesday.

Surprise package

By contrast, Valencia have surprised everyone with their bright start to the season. El Tri have lit up La Liga so far with their young talent producing a vibrant attacking style of play.

They have scored three times in all four victories which are sandwiched with draws against Sevilla on the opening day and then Real Sociedad last weekend. Goals do not come cheaply against Atletico’s stubborn defence, but they do have the players that have the ability to cause them problems.

Atletico did the double last season on their way to the title while they also knocked them out of the Copa del Rey, so they do carry a slight psychological advantage into the game on Saturday.

Either way, it should be a very entertaining game between two sides with very contrasting styles - pure attacking against pure hard work – it’s not to be missed.

La Liga

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