Koeman: Barcelona vs Atletico will be important, but not decisive

Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid on Saturday afternoon for a huge match at the top of the LaLiga Santander table, although Ronald Koeman doesn't think the result will completely decide the title race.

There will still be three more fixtures after this weekend's match, yet the Dutchman is obviously hopeful of winning out to try to make the most of any Real Madrid slip-up.

"I don't know if the result of this match will be decisive, but it will be important," he said in his pre-match press conference.

"There are ups and downs in a season and we've made up some points to be where we are.

"We couldn't imagine being where we are now just a few months ago.

"To be champion, we need to win every game.

"I am convinced that if we win every game then we'll be champions."

Luis Suarez will be one of the main figures in this game as he goes up against Barcelona for the first time since departing last summer, having missed the first meeting with coronavirus.

"It'll be strange for him and for the players on our team," Koeman said of Suarez playing at the Camp Nou in an away kit.

"But, we're all professionals and everyone will give their all for their team.

"We need to think about how to press them.

"We need to be good with the ball because they're a team who defend well. We have to be very good to create opportunities.

It's still uncertain if the coach can be on the touchline for the match, as Barcelona are appealing his ban.

"If I can't be there then it'll just be like the Valencia game, with the assistant coaching staff doing a good job," he said.

"We don't need to go crazy if I can't be there."

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