Koke: Atletico preparing to fire 'last bullet' against Barcelona

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His club's match away to the La Liga leaders on Saturday is their final chance to revive the title race, according to the midfielder

Koke has described Saturday's match against Barcelona as Atletico Madrid's "last bullet" as they seek to prolong La Liga's title race. 

Reigning champions and leaders Barca are eight points clear of second-placed Atleti, with just seven more matches of the league season to come after the crunch meeting at Camp Nou. 

Diego Simeone's side, surprise Liga champions in 2013-14, continue to punch above their weight in competing with Barca and Real Madrid for major honours. 

And Spain international Koke, while acknowledging the odds are stacked against his side, is determined to keep fighting for as long as possible. 

"We will go with everything we have to win the game, it's our last bullet," the midfielder told beIN Sports

"In the last few years we've been at a great level, we've always wanted to win but we have to be realists, there are huge teams in front of us." 

Koke also hailed the importance of Antoine Griezmann, who remains the subject of speculation linking him with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano. 

"He's decisive for the team, even if he doesn't score," Koke said of his club's star man. 

The midfielder also continued to praise team-mate Alvaro Morata, who he supported back in Feburary when the striker was struggling to find the net. 

A run of VAR decisions cost the former Chelsea forward goals in multiple games earlier in the season, with Koke saying at the time : "In the end, VAR will one day give Morata a goal."

According to midfielder the January loan arrival from Chelsea has "given a boost to the team", although the striker is expected to miss the Barca clash due to a sprained ankle. 

Following the clash with Barca, Atleti will face 18th place Celta Vigo, with 11th placed Eibar to follow ahead of the closing run of the season. 

Barcelona's schedule is much more crowded and could do Atleti a favour down the stretch. The league leaders have at least 11 matches left in all competitions, including two crunch clashes against Manchester United in the Champions League

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Atletico sits five points clear of third placed Real Madrid as they look to keep their place among La Liga's elite. 

 

 

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