Kondogbia, Torreira and Herrera, in Simeone's bedroom

The rojiblanco team only has two victories in the last eight games, losing strength in the middle. Between the three they have played 201 minutes in that period.


Atletico's midfield was completely overtaken by Chelsea's. The English team placed their lines very close together, a very high pressure and Kanté and Kovacic in a very physical double pivot to avoid that nobody in the rojiblanco team could turn and generate football comfortably. Koke and Saúl were unable to catch the ball and Atlético's pressure was ineffective due to the good output of the ball from the Londoners.

In recent games, Atlético has been struggling to get strong in the middle. It was probably in the derby against Real Madrid that he had the most dominance during a good part of the match and he best threw the lines in the pressure. On that occasion Koke commanded from the pivot with the collaboration of Llorente and Lemar at his side, a very offensive scheme but enhanced by the work of the two interiors. But in the rest of the games, despite the victories against Villarreal and Athletic, it has cost a lot to prevail on the wide strip of the field.

And Atlético has had bad results. There are only two victories in the last eight games, which has cost the elimination of the Champions League and seeing Barcelona and Real Madrid getting closer and closer in the rear-view mirror. Koke is not at the brilliant level of the first round and Saúl is not having a good season. Lemar for his part has chained two consecutive substitutions probably according to his physical condition, training on the sidelines as a precaution on several occasions.

For these reasons the Kondogbia, Torreira or Herrera await their opportunity from the bench. The first one was gaining prominence, it caught on a fantastic match against Celta, but later against Levante he failed in the play that ended up causing the first granota goal. In that meeting he had an hour. Since then, he has played 24 minutes in the last six games (540 minutes). In the case of Torreira, his appearances are not superior. 71 minutes in that fateful streak of the last eight games (720 '). And Herrera has not played at all, although he has been conditioned by the coronavirus, muscle problems and his absence for personal reasons after the death of his mother.

The absence of the Mexican is amplified considering that he began the course earning a place in the eleven for his great level with Koke in the double pivot. After participating in 12 games, seven of them as a starter, he suffered an injury that together with all the subsequent problems has caused Herrera to only play six minutes in 2021. But the midfielder wants to be important again, he is prepared and seeks to win minutes in workouts. Simeone has three natural midfielders in the chamber to try to regain the strength lost in the middle.

Photos from as.com
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