Atletico Madrid have enjoyed a solid if unspectacular start to their La Liga title defence in 2021/22.
Diego Simeone’s side ended Game Week 5 unbeaten with 11 points from a possible 15, in second place, behind rivals Real Madrid.
However, despite the overall positive run of form, the Argentine faces some key conundrums as he aims maintain balance and harmony in his squad.
His side face three successive away games in the coming weeks as they head to Alaves, Getafe and AC Milan.
With a crunch set of games on the horizon we take a look at the key calls Simeone needs to make.
Keep the 2020/21 title balance
Simeone stuck with a constant tried and trusted in 2020/21, as they secured the league title, with nine players making 25+ league starts.
That allow his team to create a base to build from and refresh their old defensive grit in the final months of the campaign.
The core components are still within his squad and club captain Koke has previously spoken about their expectation of being in the title race again this season.
Find a role for Antoine Griezmann
Griezmann completed a dramatic deadline day return to his former club just as it looked as though their interest had ended.
The French international is now back where he produced his best ever club form, and if Simeone can make it work, he has a title decisive player on his hands.
Due to his late arrival at the club the 30-year-old has only made two league starts on his return with Simeone opting to place him in an inside forward role.
If Griezmann can become the conductor, in behind a main striker or two, he will be vital. but if they environment becomes toxic, Simeone may have second thoughts on retaining him permanently.
Reignite Luis Suarez in 2021
Luis Suarez’s 21 La Liga goals in 2020/21 powered Atletico to the title as he looked to show Barcelona exactly what they had let go.
However, injuries and another 12 months on the clock, have opened up speculation over whether he can repeat the trick.
Reports from Marca have highlighted that concern with just one league goal to his name so far.
Simeone knows Suarez needs to be carefully managed in the coming months, and his game load may be reduced to ensure his goal return remains in excess of 20+, as Los Rojiblancos rely heavily on him finding the net.