La Liga

Atletico Madrid v Celta Vigo: Gabi unconcerned about lack of goals

Gabi is confident Atletico Madrid can overcome their goalscoring troubles as they prepare to take on Celta Vigo at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie.

Diego Simeone’s men have been in superb form defensively, but have occasionally struggled going forward, winning a number of games by the smallest margin possible.


They failed to score entirely in their two most recent games, with Celta holding them to a scoreless draw in the first leg, before 10-man Sevilla nicked a point in Sunday’s La Liga encounter.

Nevertheless, captain Gabi sees no reason for panic just yet and remains optimistic about their chances of winning silverware.

“Our lack of goals has not been a problem so far,” Gabi told reporters.

“It’s true that we are winning a lot of games by a minimal margin, but we also had a lot of matches like that when we won La Liga.

“You have to take a positive approach. We hope that our attackers are not the only ones providing goals. Our midfielders will have to contribute as well in order to make sure we don’t have any regrets at the end of the season.

“The match against Celta will be very complicated. They were very direct in the first game and caused us problems. But I think we are ready for the challenge ahead.

“I consider Wednesday’s game to be more important than the one versus Barcelona at the weekend.”

Atleti have had little problem finding the net in the early stages of their Copa del Rey campaign, though, recording a 3-1 aggregate win over Reus and a 4-1 aggregate victory over Rayo Vallecano.

They crashed out in the quarter-finals last season and will be desperate to do better this time around as they aim to repeat their successful 2012-13 Copa campaign.

Simeone’s men have lost just one of their last five meetings with Celta Vigo, winning twice and drawing the other two.

Celta, meanwhile, have been a struggling in recent weeks after a superb start to the season.

They have lost four of their last five matches in La Liga, but can draw confidence from their form in this season’s Copa, recording two wins over both Almeria and Cadiz before holding Atleti last week.

Head coach Eduardo Berizzo will likely have to make do without the services of Nolito (hamstring), Fontas (Achilles) and Marcelo Diaz (adductor), though.

Celta have made it to the final of the Copa del Rey on three occasions, most recently in 2000-01, but have yet to lift the trophy.

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