The League has entered the last straight just at the moment when Atlético has run out of advantage. Simeone faces these five days with faith and the first thing is to lift the spirits of the troops to beat an Elche who plays as much or more than the rojiblancos. El Cholo insists on the mental factor, because he is also aware that no team has excess energy. At least, the coach prepares the next matches with his entire squad ready. Not much happens, but this time yes, it has its 22 troops.
The returns of João Félix, Luis Suárez and Lemar, who played the final half hour in Bilbao, give another air to the leader's attack. On Sunday They weren't headlines because they had a couple of leg workouts and the coach also wanted to reward those who took the chestnuts out of the fire against Eibar and Huesca. Now, your entry or not in the next eleven will depend on a purely technical question, of what the coach decides.
The only absence in San Mamés was that of Giménez, which was serving a sanction. Without the Uruguayan, Simeone opted for Felipe to accompany Savic, overtaking a Hermoso who seems destined for defenses with three centrals or for the winger. With all the players ready, that will be another issue to be assessed by Simeone, the system. He seems encouraged to continue with the defense of four, giving Lodi confidence again, although each game will have a focus. In the first round, He tried against Barça with that defense of five, with Carrasco de carrilero measuring himself with Dembélé. Perhaps at the Camp Nou he will take it into account.
Yes indeed, The fact that the 22 footballers in the squad are fit does not mean that they are all at their best. The aforementioned João, Suárez and Lemar must show themselves 100% as soon as possible, with spark and good physical tone. Against Athletic, the gunman barely touched the ball and João and Lemar, although they did participate, could not be decisive near the rival goal. Llorente and Carrasco always contribute, although keeping them away from the attack (as happened to Madrid in the second half of Bilbao) entails global losses for the team. Simeone has there a good puzzle to put together. Suárez is fixed and Lemar, almost too. João Félix will have to earn it.
And as for some players to enter, others must leave, there are some names that it seems difficult for them to continue in the eleven. Saúl has started the last five games, but he can be one of those chosen to make way for other colleagues. Herrera, notable when the team manages possession (Eibar and Huesca), but who suffers when it comes to running (Athletic), also has its continuity in the air. And in attack, there will be pieces that serve as a trigger for the second halves, maybe Correa, or Lemar, or João … For the future, in addition, another important factor: Hermoso is warned of sanction and several companions, two yellow.
Because Simeone, beyond choosing a system and eleven starters, knows that it is difficult to win comfortably and that many matches will be decided in the final stretch. And there it adds up a lot the contribution from the bench. And then yes, having 22 footballers is a plus. A double or triple change towards the 60th minute can shake up a game. This is what the Cholo tried in Bilbao, although the result was not as expected. Now, everyone is ready, everyone wants to play and take advantage of every minute and Atleti has to take advantage of it.