5 questions for Atlético Madrid to answer against Qarabag
Atlético Madrid travel to Azerbaijan for a Champions League game against minnows Qarabag with many questions to answer. After being toppled by Chelsea in the last round of Champions League fixtures, Diego Simeone's team is in a must-win predicament. A slip-up against Qarabag would see the three-time Champions League finalists dragged closer towards an almost certain elimination.
Here are five questions that Simeone has to answer ahead of Los Rojiblancos' game against Qarabag.
Juanfran Torres has been Diego Simeone's first choice right-back for most of his stint at Atleti. Now, the Spanish international is 32-years old and is showing signs of decadence. In fact, he hasn't even made the squad for the Qarabag game.
Luckily for Simeone, he has two other quality right-back choices in Sime Vrsaljko and José María Giménez. While the latter is naturally a centreback, he has filled in admirably at right-back before, although typically in a more defensive setting.
Vrsaljko has been injured for the majority of this season, only featuring in three games so far. With Simeone needing the win, the 25-year old Croatian is likely to come back into the back four. His pace, agility, strength, and crosses will all be great offensive tools for Atleti.
An unlikely alternative for Simeone would be to field no traditional right-back at all. Simeone experimented with three centre-backs and two wingbacks in stretches against Chelsea and Girona before actually trying a 3-5-2 against Leganés in late September. Then, he used Ángel Correa and Saúl Ñiguez at wingback.