Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid will aim to snap a winless slide on Sunday when the club welcomes Valencia to the Vicente Calderon.
It's been a bit of a tough go for the champions over the past couple weeks as the club heads into Sunday's clash riding a two-match winless run across all competitions following a 1-0 loss to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League play and a scoreless draw against Sevilla in league play last week.
Hakan Calhanoglu scored the lone tally in the 57th minute for Leverkusen and Tiago was shown a second yellow card with 14 minutes to play as the Bundesliga side heads to the Vicente Calderon for the second leg with the lead.
"We tied against a great team such as Sevilla and in a difficult match but, above all, it didn't cut points in the ranking," said defender Jesus Gamez. "We know that Valencia is closer and it will also be a difficult match, but we have the support of our fans and the team's eagerness for that moment to arrive."
"We're a team with a very united group, especially with the coach. We're training well and all the players are needed at this time. And the union of the group is essential."
Depending on other results this weekend, a win for Atletico could take the club to within two points of Barcelona for second place in La Liga. Valencia, meanwhile, will be hoping for three points to jump ahead of Atletico into third place.
Also in La Liga on Sunday, Barcelona will shoot for a fourth consecutive win in league play when the Catalans take on Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou.
Coming off a 3-1 win over Villarreal in the Copa del Rey during the week, a win for Barcelona would take the club to 62 points.
David Moyes' Real Sociedad will try to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Valencia with a victory over Espanyol at the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta, while Villarreal battles Celta Vigo at the El Madrigal.
On Saturday, leaders Real Madrid will try to extend its unbeaten run across all competitions to five matches when Los Blancos face Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames.
"Winning against Athletic in San Memes is always difficult",Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said. "Maybe we are not at 100% but I have belief in these players."
In last year's fixture, Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off as Bilbao forced a 1-1 draw, and Ancelotti will be without first-team regulars James Rodriguez, Sergio Ramos, Sami Khedira and Luka Modric through injury.
Also Saturday, Deportivo hosts Sevilla, Elche battles Almeria and Granada hosts Malaga.
Monday's action sees Cordoba host Getafe, while on Friday Levante topped Eibar by a 2-1 score.