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2016/2017 Season

2 Barcelona 28 6 4 90
3 Atletico 23 9 6 78
4 Sevilla 21 9 8 72
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David Villa backed to find scoring touch

Diego Simeone has backed Atletico Madrid striker David Villa to end his current barren run soon.

Spain international David Villa leads Atletico Madrid's attack.
Spain international David Villa leads Atletico Madrid's attack.

Summer signing Villa began his Atletico career with a superb goal against his former side Barcelona in the Spanish Supercopa in August, and soon netted against Real Sociedad and Almeria in La Liga, however Spain's record goalscorer has now gone seven games without scoring.

Speaking ahead of Atletico’s Champions League group visit to Austria Vienna on Wednesday evening, the Argentine coach said he was not concerned about the situation as Villa’s class would soon show itself.

"He has spent his whole life scoring goals," Simeone said. "I am sure they will appear when they are most needed. It is only a matter of time and he's got my full backing."

El Cholo admitted that Villa’s strike-partner Diego Costa may miss the game at the Ernst Happel Stadion with an ankle problem.

"He is with the group," Simeone said. "Everyone except Leo [Baptistao] has come. We will evaluate the game from here. It is difficult for him to play, but there is still time before the game. He had some swelling and we will see how he responds."

Simeone said he recognised Atletico’s own style in that of Vienna, who are coached by former Albacete and Real Betis midfielder Nenad Bjelica.

"We have seen a very organised team, with some tactics and tools we use ourselves," he said. "They make a very good collective effort. They have a strong spine and some tall players. It will be a difficult game. We hope to sort it out."

Atletico come into the game with their unbeaten start to the season having unexpectedly ended with a 1-0 La Liga defeat at Espanyol last weekend.

That game was decided by an unfortunate own-goal from Colchoneros goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who said he and his teammates had already put the loss behind them.

"We go from game-to-game," Courtois said. "This is the next final for us. We want to win here too. What happened at Cornella can happen. But we are all feeling good to play this game."

The on-loan Chelsea keeper said he expected the Austrian champions to be well drilled and provide a stiff test for Atletico.

"They are a very organised team and it is not easy to create chances against them," Courtois said. "We must be focused because it will not be easy to beat them."


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