A hugely testing run of away fixtures in the final third of the season looks set to define Atletico Madrid’s 2017/18 campaign.
Despite entering the new campaign having been unable to register any players for a year, optimism is high around the club with no high-profile departures from the first-team squad and Antoine Griezmann’s contract renewal.
However, between February 25 and April 18 they will all five of their fellow top six finishers from last season away from home.
The run starts with a trip to Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan – where they lost 1-0 last season – before a trip to Camp Nou to face Barcelona a fortnight later.
There is no let-up for Diego Simeone’s men with their next away trip to Villarreal, another defeat for them last time out, before a Madrid derby at the Bernabeu in early April.
The tough run continues through until April 18 with a midweek trip to Real Sociedad.
Atleti’s final four games do appear ‘on paper’ to be more straightforward as they are tasked with facing Alaves, Betis, Getafe and Eibar.