Tuesday night’s win over Sevilla continued their incredible start of the campaign – with 41 points from their opening 16 league games.
Now, Marca outline the eight reasons why Atleti are ‘winter’ champions of the division, which are all applicable to why they could be crowned champions.
With just six goals conceded in 16 games and 11 clean sheets – comfortably the best numbers in Europe’s top five leagues – the strength of Jan Oblak and the side’s defence is clearly a fundamental part of the success.
This is not a team who are focused on individuals, but rather on the core group of players – none of whom are irreplaceable stars, but who become better in the side.
The report cites Nelson Vivas – Simeone’s assistant – as saying: “The team is a whole beyond the individualities. The team is more than the sum of the parts.”
Simeone has deployed several different formations this campaign – from variants of 4-4-2, to 3-5-2 and 3-4-2-1.
Atleti have scored 31 goals in 16 games from just 68 shots – a success rate of 45 percent, which is the most in the division.
The Luis Suarez factor
The Uruguayan’s exit dominated Barcelona news this summer and he has been supreme for Atleti this season.
He has netted nine goals to date including important strikes against Alavés, Getafe, Elche and Celta.
Players return to form
Thomas Lemar, Mario Hermoso, Héctor Herrera and Yannick Carrasco are all players who fell from prominence in recent years, but all have improved this season and now have important roles for the league leaders.
Atleti have dropped just two points – against Villarreal – in nine home league games this season and are unbeaten at the Wanda Metropolitano since 1 December 2019, against Barcelona.
The final factor – there is a clear close bond between the players and that has helped forge their strong run of form.