January 20, 2013
Simeone wants more from awesome Atleti
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||2.2||0.8|
|Goals against *||0.6||1.6|
|Last 5 home||D-L-L-W-D||D-L-D-L-L|
|Last 5 away||W-W-D-W-D||W-D-L-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Atletico Madrid | Levante|
|12/15||H: Valencia||12/13||H: Elche|
|12/21||H: Levante||12/21||A: Atletico Madrid|
|1/4||A: Malaga||1/4||A: Valencia|
|1/12||H: Barcelona||1/12||H: Malaga|
|1/19||H: Sevilla FC||1/19||H: Barcelona|
Atletico Madrid continued to break records with their form at the Vicente Calderon this season as they registered their 17th straight victory at home with a 2-0 win over Real Betis in the Copa del Rey in midweek.
However, despite not conceding a goal on home soil in nine games, manager Diego Simeone has challenged his players to continue improving.
He told the club's official website: "We haven't arrived at our top level.
"The team can express itself better, they can be more consistent in their play, they can and they ought to want to improve and if they want to they will because I know these guys.
"When you put forward these challenges they compete to attain them. I hope we understand that we still need to continue improving.''
The Argentinian also expressed his admiration of Levante and how they have managed to continue competing in the upper echelons of the league despite having a far lower budget than those around them in the table.
"Levante interpret very well their style of play. They rely on it whatever the result may be and up front they have players that play very well.
"They are a team that close down with players with a lot of experience and we need to be attentive.
"We need to congratulate them because undoubtedly with a smaller budget they have created an important team with a very strong structure.''
The hosts could be without Juanfran after he limped off with a muscular problem against Betis, but otherwise Simeone has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Levante meanwhile are just desperate for January to end without losing any of their big names with Gustavo Munua in particular linked with a move back to his homeland with Nacional.
However, manager Juan Ignacio Martinez insists they are just concentrating on trying to do what no one has done this season in taking something away from the Calderon.
He told Marca: "There are many things being talked about but inside the dressing room door we are only speaking about Atletico Madrid.
"We need to try to take some points because it has been a while since we have done so away from home.
"At home they have won everything and now they have gone many games without even conceding a goal.
"They are having a great season, the goal is very difficult, but this is football and we are going with the maximum hope.''
Levante's own Juanfran will also be unavailable through suspension but Vicente Iborra returns from his ban and Jose Barkero should be fit enough to make his first appearance of the year.