Los Rojiblancos beat Barcelona at the weekend for the first time in La Liga since Cholo Simeone took charge of them at the dawn of the last decade. They currently sit second, three points behind league leaders Real Sociedad but with two games in hand.
In Europe, Atletico sit second in their group as well, behind Bayern Munich. If they can beat Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano this evening it will represent a big step towards qualification for the last 16.
They’re a better team than their Russian visitors, but Atletico have a history of choking in games where they’re the clear favourites. In Moscow, three weeks ago, it was 1-1. Atletico need to do better and turn their domination into points.
Simeone has casualties to deal with in Luis Suarez, Lucas Torreira, Hector Herrera, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Sime Vrsaljko and Manu Sanchez, but Atletico should have enough quality to see them through. Yannick Carrasco and Joao Felix have been seizing responsibility, while Diego Costa, Thomas Lemar and Vitolo are also waiting in the wings.
Victory in Madrid tonight will take them to seven points, five clear of Lokomotiv and, should Bayern beat RB Salzburg, six clear of the Austrians. The result would go a long way to instilling even more confidence in what is a group of Atletico players riding quite the wave in recent times.
Featured image courtesy of Atletico Madrid.