The Brazilian defender believes the Rojiblancos must step up and prove their worth as title contenders by completing their first double over fierce rivals Read Madrid for 63 years
A Diego Costa goal gave Atleti a 1-0 victory when the two sides met at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this season in what was Los Rojiblancos' first Liga win over their city rivals since 1999, and victory at the Calderon on Sunday would see them record their first double over Los Blancos in 63 years.
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"We must win matches like this, because they tell us whether we will be fight for the championship or not," the 29-year-old Brazilian defender told reporters.
"If they put themselves six points ahead it would be difficult. So we have to be very careful and play to win.
"To beat Madrid, you have to be strong and compact, and we know that from the moment that we stop doing this it gets tricky.
"We should be back to being a very solid team, competitive and which all run and fight from minute one up until minute 93."
Atletico Madrid are without a league title since 1996, and hoping to break La Liga’s duopoly by becoming the first side to deny both Real Madrid and Barcelona of the title since Valencia took the crown in 2004.