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The midfielder has a huge amount of respect for the Spain international and the man he will line up against in the Madrid derby

Atletico Madrid star Koke has revealed he would happily "remove" Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid's starting lineup as he prepares to face him on Sunday.

The 22-year-old will do battle with his compatriot in the Madrid derby, and while Cristiano Ronaldo are Gareth Bale are widely regarded as los Blancos' most feared assets, Alonso is the man most prominent on Koke's radar.

"If I could remove a player from Madrid, I would remove Xabi Alonso," he told AS.

Atletico’s 3-0 loss at Osasuna on Sunday saw Madrid open up a three-point gap at the top of La Liga, and Koke admitted that a defeat in the derby would make it tough for los Rojiblancos to come back.

"The defeat in Pamplona is already passed. We face this match as a final. They are three points but it is special. How will we win them? By scoring more goals than them," he said. "We will go game by game but it is clear that we would take away options if we lose because we would be six points behind. Yet, there is a lot of the season left to play.
 
"Madrid are playing very well. They put on a great performance in Germany but Sunday's going to be different. Defensively they are very good and they have great individuals in attack. We'll see how we attack them but no one is invincible. Every day that passes we have more ambition. We are where we are for this reason. It is impossible to win all. That is the same even for Madrid or Barca.”

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