As Atletico prepare to host FC Barcelona, former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has stated that Diego Simeone’s men are capable of winning a second La Liga title in three years.

Former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti won the UEFA Champions League when with Real in 2013-14, but were beaten by Diego Simone’s Atletico Madrid to the title that year.

.

Simeone and his team finished third last year, but still managed to destroy a hapless Real Madrid 4-0.

Ancelotti backs Atletico for title challenge

Ancelotti feels that much like in the past seasons, Atletico will once again be a force to be reckoned with.

“It will be the same as the past three seasons,” he was quoted saying by Goal.com. “This year Atletico Madrid will be very strong, they are going to be a big threat to Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“Simeone is a manager who knows how to get the best out of his players, so matching up to them on the pitch will be very difficult.”

Ancelotti reveals his respect for Benitez

Ancelotti was sacked as the manager of Real Madrid following a trophy-less season. He was replaced in the Madrid dugout by Rafael Benitez, the former Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC manager.

“I know first hand what it is like to train Real Madrid,” Ancelotti continued.

“I wish Rafa Benitez the best, I have a lot of respect for his work. I can only say that he has a great squad under his charge and that is because I was fortunate enough to coach them for the last two seasons.”

Real Madrid are currently two points adrift of Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona who have won both their opening games.