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The Daily Rojiblanco: October 20, 2017

LaLiga teams struggling in the Champions League, plus a Koke update.

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
  • Atlético’s struggles contribute to bad CL showing for LaLiga

AS note that this year has seen the worst start in the Champions League group stage for LaLiga teams in the past five seasons. Unfortunately, the primary culprits are Atlético Madrid, who have earned just two of the 22 total points for LaLiga clubs. Barcelona and that other Madrid team are carrying the weight with nine and seven points respectively, while Sevilla have contributed four.

The Premier League clubs who have picked up the slack, with 37 points earned and not a single loss between the five English clubs in the competition. Looking forward, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues and signals a larger shift in UEFA club coefficients over the coming season(s).

But more pressing is the disappointing start to Atletico’s Champions League season. While the squad that we had available should have easily dispatched Qarabag on Wednesday, our struggles in the CL could be attributable to the registration ban that prevented Atleti from bolstering that squad. Depth, especially in attack, remains an issue, and one that is being highlighted by the high-stakes mid-week matches in the CL.

  • Koke injury update

The mystery knock that Koke suffered in prematch training in Baku has been identified as an edema, a form of painful fluid buildup in the muscle. It remains unclear what caused the injury or what Koke’s timeline for return looks like, but he seems doubtful for this weekend against Celta Vigo — if not longer.

  • Former Atlético keeper Leo Franco calls current Atlético keeper Jan Oblak the world’s best.
  • Atlético Madrid interested in Sampdoria midfielder?

According to reports, Atlético have made advances toward Sampdoria defensive Midfielder Lucas Torreira. The player has had a bright start to the season in Serie A and at 21 years old is an intriguing prospect. Still, it seems that Sampdoria have no interesting in selling at this juncture, so a move in the summer may be more likely than one in January.