Rojiblancos have often been credited as the only team in the La Liga capable of breaking the age-long Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly, and rightly so considering they have ended in 3rd place on 3 occasions and won the prize once in the last 4 seasons.
Diego Simeone has turned Atletico Madrid into the team to beat both domestically and on the continental level, but things won’t likely go down well with them in the La Liga this season, although they are expected to challenge for another final place finish in the Champions League.
As the Spanish La Liga resumes this weekend following the end-of-the-year winter break, the 6th placed Atletico Madrid face the daunting task of putting themselves back into the title race, with a visit to Municipal de Ipurua to square up against 8th-placed Eibar on Saturday afternoon the next hurdle to cross.
In 16 La Liga games played, Atletico have won 8, drawn 4 and lost 4. They have scored 29 goals and conceded the least – 14, but of all 5 teams ahead of them on the log, Sevilla is the team that looks guaranteed to still remain ahead of them by May.
Since the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán outfit employed Jorge Sampaoli in the summer, they have become formidable, losing just thrice and drawing thrice, and they are the team that will give Barcelona and Real Madrid the run for the money, not Atletico Madrid.
Sevilla narrowly defeated Simeone’s charges in a 1-nil victory in October, while Barcelona came from behind to run out 2-1 winners November. They trail the Catalans by just a point, and are looking every bit the team to go all the way and challenge the top 2 for the title from now till May.
Atletico Madrid remain a solid team, but Sampaoli’s Sevilla are the La Liga surprise package of this season, and are a big reason why for the first time in 4 seasons, Atletico might not have a say on the title race.