How things have changed...
There were five new faces in the line-up for Atletico Madrid in Saturday's derby compared to that of the UEFA Super Cup back in August. Between injuries and players' form, Los Rojiblancos haven't settled on a starting XI. It used to be an easy thing to remember Diego Simeone's line-ups, as there were usually just one or two changes at a time. They may have been tired by the end of some seasons, but there was a defined team. The players worked together frequently enough to develop automated responses and everyone knew their role.
This season, though, the spine of the team has suffered major changes. It'll be in this area of the pitch where their tie against Juventus is likely to be decided.
Many very good players have arrived in recent years and Simeone has seen Vitolo, Thomas Lemar and Rodrigo Hernandez join an already-talented squad. These are players who manage the ball well and getting the best out of them should be an obsession for the coach. There is no doubt that his biggest challenge will be to get these talented players putting themselves at the service of the group. This process, though, isn't easy.
This team looks like one under construction. That's not to be confused with a team in ruins, though. Despite losing a couple of matches in a row, they remain just a point off second place. There is an exciting Champions League tie up ahead and this will test the character of the players. There will be plenty of time to see exactly where this construction work takes Simeone's side.