This is not the final stretch of the season but it is one of the most important run of games that Atletico Madrid will endure this season. The games themselves are of significance for obvious reasons but the fact that they run so close together is the key factor.
Atletico lost Koke to a hamstring injury that ruled him out for three important games prior to the international break. His absence was a stark reminder that Atletico Madrid lean heavily on a core group of experienced players and injury to any one of them can mean dropped points and missed opportunities.
The demand put on the players in terms of physical duties during a game will also mean that Simeone must put his trust in the likes of Luciano Vietto, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Thomas Partey and Stefan Savic. The four players mentioned are not considered starters but might be thrown in at the deep end during the next three weeks of games.
Simeone and his squad travel to the Anoeta to play Real Sociedad this Sunday before welcoming Astana on Wednesday the 21st of October to the Vicente Calderon at 7.45pm. One of the more significant games follows on Sunday the 25th of October at 7.30pm against Nuno Espirito Santo's Valencia side. Valencia have not started as well as they might have liked but will surely look to gather steam after the international break.
Atletico then travel north to play Deportivo la Coruna on Friday the 25th before travelling to Kazakstan to play Astana with a four day break. That game takes place on Tuesday and the following Sunday sees Sporting Gijon travel to the Calderon to take on Atletico.
It might be too early to consider this a make or break time of the season but a couple of poor results during this period could all but end an Atletico Madrid title challenge.
|Real Sociedad||18th October||Anoeta||3.00pm|
|Astana FC||21st October||Vicente Calderon||7.45pm|
|Valencia||25th October||Vicente Calderon||7.30pm|
|Deportivo La Coruna||30th October||Riazor||7.30pm|
|Astana FC||3rd November||Astana Arena||3.00pm|
|Sporting Gijon||8th November||Vicente Calderon||5.15pm|
(All times mentioned are GMT)