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Goalless draws becoming a concern for Los Rojiblancos


With just one more sleep to go until tomorrow’s grudge match, as much as the Rojiblanco hierarchy might like us to think otherwise, Atlético fans will be struggling to get any shuteye as thoughts of their team’s serious lack of firepower start to plague their minds. The problem is pathological, and can’t be put down to a simple run of bad luck. Simeone’s playing style has never been particularly attacking in nature, but that hadn’t been an issue until fairly recently. Set pieces used to present real scoring opportunities for Los Colchoneros, but now the team don’t seem as adept at putting their training ground moves into practice when it really matters. Jorge Mendes’ failed transfers mean that there is no longer an archetypal number nine to rely on and no replacement has been found for Raúl García, whose underrated contributions have been sorely missed since his move to Bilbao.

The defensive performances are as assured as ever, helped in large part by the shot-stopping phenomenon that is Jan Oblak, and the team are still more prone to winning games than losing them. However, the dearth of goals has been alarming. None of the front men are able to provide the goods at present and the rest of the players’ heads are beginning to drop as a result. If confidence were high in the Atleti camp Koke would have found the necessary bend on the ball midweek to beat Zoet in Eindhoven and Griezmann wouldn’t have made a mistake with his one-on-one with the PSV keeper. Atlético are low on creativity and the few chances that do fall their way aren’t being capitalised on. It’s a worrying trend for the Manzanares club, but the good news is form goes out the window for derbies. Another thing standing in Cholo’s charges’ favour is that this week’s Champions League action will have kept their minds too occupied to dwell on their toothless forays up front.


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