Atletico's Juanfran, left, clears the ball from Chelsea's Willian during their Uefa Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
Atletico's Juanfran, left, clears the ball from Chelsea's Willian during their Uefa Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea at the Vicente Calderon stadiuShow more

Valencia next up on Atletico Madrid’s Primera Liga title charge

MADRID // Atletico Madrid can take another huge step towards their first Primera Liga title in 18 years when they travel to face Valencia at the Mestalla on Sunday.

Diego Simeone’s men need to win just three of their remaining four games to mathematically seal the championship.

However, Simeone's task this weekend is complicated by one of his side's most difficult away trips of the season falling between the two legs of Atletico's Uefa Champions League semi-final against Chelsea.

Midfielder Jose Sosa, though, believes five days rest will be more than enough to ensure they are in the right condition to secure a ninth straight league win.

“The coaching staff are handling that aspect well with the players that have played the most minutes.

“Those that played on Tuesday will have a bit more rest in the days before the game to ensure they are ready to play at any moment,” he told a press conference on Thursday.

“We need to rest and give the second leg the attention the semi-finals of the Champions League deserves, but we need to maintain the same focus in La Liga because at this stage of the season we cannot relax.”

The likes of Sosa, David Villa, Arda Turan and Tiago are likely to be drafted into the side that started Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea, whilst captain Gabi is certain to start as he is suspended for the second leg at Stanford Bridge.

Barcelona were the one side of the three title hopefuls not in Champions League action in midweek after falling to Atletico in the quarter-finals.

The Catalans lie four points behind Atletico in second place, albeit having played a game more than third-placed Real Madrid, and defender Marc Bartra insists they must maintain the pressure on the league leaders when they travel to Villarreal on Sunday.

“We are conscious that the four games left are finals for us and the best thing we can do is play with a lot of desire in those games and be there in case Atletico Madrid slip-up so we can put the pressure on them. We still have hopes of winning the league,” he said.

“We have shown that in no way will we through away the league. The win against Athletic last week showed a lot of courage and heart to remain in the fight. We are ambitious and will give everything to win it.”

Barca will still be without the injured Jordi Alba, Neymar, Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, but will be boosted by the return of Sergio Busquets from suspension.

Real Madrid are the first of the title contenders in action this weekend as when they host struggling Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday evening.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is likely to make a series of changes with his side’s Champions League semi-final, second leg against Bayern Munich in mind as Los Blancos take a 1-0 first leg advantage to Germany on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be rested as Ancelotti admitted he played against Bayern in midweek despite not being full-fit.

Gareth Bale should return to the starting line-up after recovering from flu, whilst Raphael Varane, Nacho and Asier Illarramendi are also in contention to start.

Arguably the game of the weekend involves those just below the top three, however, as Athletic Bilbao host Sevilla in a virtual playoff for the fourth and final Champions League spot.

The Basque side lead Europa League semi-finalists Sevilla by three points, but a win for Unai Emery’s men away at San Mames on Sunday would take them into fourth thanks to a better head-to-head record.

Follow our sports coverage on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Crazy Rich Asians

Director: Jon M Chu

Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeon, Gemma Chan

Four stars

Tips for newlyweds to better manage finances

All couples are unique and have to create a financial blueprint that is most suitable for their relationship, says Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer at Century Financial. He offers his top five tips for couples to better manage their finances.

Discuss your assets and debts: When married, it’s important to understand each other’s personal financial situation. It’s necessary to know upfront what each party brings to the table, as debts and assets affect spending habits and joint loan qualifications. Discussing all aspects of their finances as a couple prevents anyone from being blindsided later.

Decide on the financial/saving goals: Spouses should independently list their top goals and share their lists with one another to shape a joint plan. Writing down clear goals will help them determine how much to save each month, how much to put aside for short-term goals, and how they will reach their long-term financial goals.

Set a budget: A budget can keep the couple be mindful of their income and expenses. With a monthly budget, couples will know exactly how much they can spend in a category each month, how much they have to work with and what spending areas need to be evaluated.

Decide who manages what: When it comes to handling finances, it’s a good idea to decide who manages what. For example, one person might take on the day-to-day bills, while the other tackles long-term investments and retirement plans.

Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.

The five pillars of Islam
Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia

Mountain Boy

Director: Zainab Shaheen

Starring: Naser Al Messabi

Rating: 3/5


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

The Continental: From the World of John Wick

Created by: Greg Coolidge, Shawn Simmons, Kirk Ward
Stars: Mel Gibson, Colin Woodell, Mishel Prada
Rating: 3/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).


Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy