Torres threatens Barca's unbeaten league run
Atletico Madrid striker Torres has a happy knack of scoring against Barcelona and poses the biggest threat to the leaders' 14-match winning streak in the Primera Liga on Sunday.india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 11:50 IST
Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has a happy knack of scoring against Barcelona and poses the biggest threat to the leaders' 14-match winning streak in the Primera Liga on Sunday.
Atletico are the only team to have beaten Barca in the league this season, winning 2-1 in the Calderon in September with goals from Mateja Kezman and Torres.
The 21-year-old Spain striker also scored both goals in a 2-0 win at the Nou Camp last February, Barca's only league defeat at home last season, and found the net in a 1-1 draw in Madrid before that.
"The Nou Camp is a place that has a special significance for me because I made my Primera Liga debut there and their fans have always been very good to me," Torres told radio station Onda Madrid.
"Last year they applauded me after I scored the two goals.
"You always go knowing that you are expected to lose but that just means that you play a little freer without the same amount of pressure."
Atletico have enjoyed a return to form under new coach Pepe Murcia, winning their last two league games.
Barca are top by 12 points from second-placed Valencia but suffered their first major setback of the season when they were knocked out of the King's Cup by Real Zaragoza on Wednesday.
Although Frank Rijkaard's side have scored at least twice in every league game since the Atletico defeat, their recent Cup exit showed they were missing the goals of Samuel Eto'o, who is competing for Cameroon at the African Nations Cup in Egypt.
Barca will also be without suspended Brazilians Ronaldinho and Edmilson. Atletico have Kezman suspended.
If Barca win they will equal the record of 15 consecutive league victories set by Real Madrid in the 1960/61 season.
Second-placed Valencia have an early chance to exact revenge on Deportivo Coruna, who knocked them out of the Cup this week.
The Saturday match promises to be a heated affair after Quique Sanchez Flores's side lost 2-1 on aggregate with both goals for Depor coming from controversial penalty decisions.
Valencia have not lost in the league since falling 1-0 to Villarreal on Nov 5.
Third-placed Real Madrid are a point behind Valencia with home advantage against an unpredictable Espanyol.
Juan Roman Lopez Caro's side are unbeaten in eight league and cup outings and could have Brazil striker Ronaldo back in the side after injury. David Beckham is struggling with a slight ankle strain and is a doubt.
First Published: Feb 03, 2006 11:50 IST