Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid face a decisive week in their season, as they chase European glory and domestic ‘almost glory’.
Atletico take on Marseille in Wednesday night’s Europa League final, before a final day clash with Eibar in La Liga.
Simeone’s side will be fully focused ahead of their European clash with the French side, but he will have to balance his squad across the two games.
Los Colchoneros are firm favourites to win against Marseille, and collect the trophy they won twice between 2010 and 2012.
Simeone was at the helm for the 2012 success, and he will be itching for more glory in Europe as his side looks to be set for a potential break up this summer.
All of the attention will be on Lyon and the final in midweek, but the game at home against Eibar at the weekend is also potentially massive for the club.
Regardless of the result in the Europa League final, Atletico have already qualified for next season’s Champions League, by virtue of finishing in the top four in La Liga.
However they are currently on course to finish second, their highest finish since winning the league in 2014, and beating their bitter rivals Real Madrid in the process.
Real face Villarreal on Saturday, given a extra day’s preparation by La Liga ahead of their Champions League final against Liverpool.
If Zinedine Zidane’s side win, they will go above Atletico into second – as there is no separating them in head-to-heads – but Real have a better goal difference.
The pressure would then be on Simeone’s charges to ensure they get a result against Eibar, less than four days after competing in a European final.
The odds are in Atletico’s favour, however Simeone may rest some of his stars for the Eibar game, to give them an extended break ahead of the World Cup.
With Champions League football in the bag, Simeone has a choice to make on Sunday.
Keep going with the foot on the accelerator until the end of the season, to ensure no late slip up and allow in the old enemy in the back door?
Or alternatively give his side the rest they need, not just in view of the World Cup next month, but also accounting for an injuries picked up in Lyon?
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