It had been several years since the League had three strong candidates to win it with ten days to go for completion. The last, the 2015/16 that ended up being carried by FC Barcelona, which like this year Atlético squandered an important income. Finally the culés took that title with a point more than Real Madrid and three more than the colchoneros. Simeone’s men have dominated the competition this season with an iron fist, but doubts have come to him at the worst moment, with the Barça in an impressive streak and the Madrid also pressing. Four points is the rojiblanca advantage over the Catalans and six over the meringues, and now the leading trio is looking at their calendar and that of their opponents doing the math.
What’s more, two direct duels they will mark who will be the champion. The first, in two days, when Real Madrid will host FC Barcelona at Di Stéfano on April 10. The other, the clash between the Barça team and Atlético on the weekend of May 9-10 on matchday 35.
For now, the The only one that depends on himself is Atlético Madrid, but all of them have reason to think that they can proclaim themselves champions … and also to doubt it.
His lead has been greatly reduced in just over a month. A draw against Celta after a goal from Vigo in the final minutes, another equalized against Levante, a defeat also against Granotas in Wanda and a goalless draw against lGetafe have made the rojiblanco very comfortable mattress stay in a rickety four points on Barça … having to visit the Camp Nou. In addition, he also left Real Madrid alive in a game that he had won in the 88th minute but in which he backed down in the final stretch and ended up watching Benzema make the final 1-1.
His significant injuries, several coronavirus infections and an untimely sanction to Trippier were serious handicaps for a team that has gone from overwhelming its rivals with a devastating attack and an insurmountable defense to suffering in each of its matches. Against Alavés at Wanda, a goal from Luis Suárez and above all a miraculous hand from Oblak on a penalty saved the mattresses from what would have been a very hard blow.
But there are also reasons for optimism at Atlético. To begin with, he is the only one who depends on himself, which is not little. In addition, his most immediate persecutor, not only has to beat them yes or yes, he must also win against Real Madrid. Although perhaps the most important thing is that Simeone’s team will be able to focus solely and exclusively on the League, with all its troops already recovered and rested after the selection break.
An impressive streak and the best version of Leo Messi are two devastating arguments that have made many who point to Barça as the favorite for the League. Imanol Alguacil himself admitted it after his Royal Society was mercilessly devastated by a resounding 1-6 at the Reale Arena.
What about Messi is also almost superhuman. 16 goals and 7 assists in 12 league games in 2021 show that Leo is once again who he was. With him at the helm, Barça has achieved 37 points out of 39 this year, an insane and unattainable pace. It will be their duels against Real Madrid and Atlético in which almost everything is decided.
Ten consecutive victories achieved by Real Madrid after the lockdown last season to take the league title. It looks like this year he will have to repeat something similar if he wants to have options.
Zidane has trusted everything to the old guard, and with Benzema, Modric and Kroos at the controls, the white team does not renounce anything. However, having the Champions League in between is a serious handicap, the Barça match will be in the middle of their double confrontation against Liverpool.