League Leaders Head To Real Sociedad

Expectations rose at Atletico Madrid

heading into this season after their LaLiga Santander title-winning campaign in 2020/21, but the team has failed to deal with that pressure.

Los Rojiblancos have never struggled this much since

Diego Simeone took charge of the team back in 2011. A couple of years ago, they lost to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Cultural Leonesa, but later on they managed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League after beating Liverpool at Anfield.

Fast forward to 2022 and

Atletico are currently sitting 16 points behind LaLiga Santander leaders Real Madrid, with the Champions League being the only trophy they are now competing for this season.

Simeone's side have not lived up to expectations this season, and here we analyse the keys to

Atleti's downfall.

Defensive frailties

Curiously,

Atletico's defence has been the team's Achilles heel this season.

Simeone's

Atleti have been known for their defensive solidity, but this is not the case anymore.

Los Rojiblancos are suffering from their poor defending at set pieces and sloppy errors at the back, as opponents take advantage of their defensive frailties.

Struggling in attack

Despite signing two more forwards last summer,

Atletico look toothless in attack this season. The arrivals of

Antoine Griezmann and

Matheus Cunha do not seem to have helped the team, who are struggling to find answers in the final third.

Hit by injuries

Jan Oblak,

Benjamin Lecomte,

Angel Correa,

Rodrigo de Paul and

Mario Hermoso are the only

Atletico Madrid players who have not suffered a single injury so far this season.

In Wednesday's Copa del Rey tie against Real Sociedad,

Simeone was forced to use a back four made up by players who would normally start on the bench.

Meanwhile, key players such as

Marcos Llorente,

Griezmann,

Jose Maria Gimenez,

Thomas Lemar and

Stefan Savic have suffered from more than one injury so far this term.

No reaction to Trippier's departure

It's been two weeks since

Kieran Trippier joined Newcastle United, yet

Atletico have been unable to find a replacement.

Los Rojiblancos desperately need to strengthen in defence, as injuries to starters have taken their toll on the team.

No formation works

Simeone used his favoured 5-3-2 formation at the start of the season, but he had to shift to a back four due to injuries and some poor performances. However, the 4-4-2 system didn't work either in the 2-2 draw away at Villarreal, so the Argentine coach shifted back to a five-man defence.

The 5-3-2 formation helped

Atletico win the league last season, but

Simeone's players are struggling to adapt to it in this campaign.

Key players have suffered a drop in form

Angel Correa is the only player who has stood out this season, while

Lemar and

Yannick Carrasco are lacking consistency.

Koke has experienced a drop in form, with the rest of the

Atleti players failing to contribute to the team's efforts when it comes to boucning back.

Simeone's doubts

The Argentine tactician has failed to find a way to turn the situation around. He is constantly changing his starting XI and moving players to different positions on the pitch.

The summer signings have not yet delivered, as they have failed to impress so far this season.

Simeone needs to reinfuse his game-by-game philosophy into the team, and

Atletico must now focus on beating Valencia on Saturday to ease some of the pressure on the coach and players.

Source : https://www.marca.com/en/football/atletico-madrid/2022/01/20/61e92b5c22601dc97a8b462e.html

774
The keys to Simeones worst moment as Atletico Madrid head coach

Source:MARCA

The keys to Simeones worst moment as Atletico Madrid head coach

Real Sociedad 2-0 Atletico Madrid: Januzaj and Sorloth send La Real through to quarter-finals

Source:Soccer News

Real Sociedad 2-0 Atletico Madrid: Januzaj and Sorloth send La Real through to quarter-finals

Preview: Real Sociedad vs. Atletico Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Source:Sports Mole

Preview: Real Sociedad vs. Atletico Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Premier League POWER RANKINGS: Philippe Coutinho and Jack Harrison included

Source:Daily Mail

Premier League POWER RANKINGS: Philippe Coutinho and Jack Harrison included

LIVE Transfer Talk: Inter Milan eye Paulo Dybala as Juventus drama continues

Source:ESPN

LIVE Transfer Talk: Inter Milan eye Paulo Dybala as Juventus drama continues

Premier League top-four race for Champions League qualification analysed by form, fixtures and Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith

Source:Sky Sports

Premier League top-four race for Champions League qualification analysed by form, fixtures and Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith

Barcelona are behind Real Madrid, but Xavi and Carlo Ancelotti are more similar than you might think

Source:ESPN

Barcelona are behind Real Madrid, but Xavi and Carlo Ancelotti are more similar than you might think

Benzema, Vincius net braces in Real rout; Barca held

Source:Dawn

Benzema, Vincius net braces in Real rout; Barca held