Inspirational coach Diego Simeone has seen his outstanding side unsurprisingly picked apart by clubs with financial clout that Atléti simply cannot match. Ace striker Diego Costa recently joined up with defender Filipe Luis and the outstanding Thibaut Courtois at José Mourinho`s new-look Chelsea. Spanish legend, David Villa, also exited the Calderon for his farewell lap in New York City.
However, the funds from these transfers have been well reinvested in players such as Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich and Real Sociedad maestro,Antoine Griezmann. Jesus Gámez comes in from Málaga to bolster a defence that earned respect around Europe throughout the 2013/14 season.
With an eye on the Supercopa second leg on Friday, Simeone will be hoping both his new recruits and senior players can come through that match unscathed, and see off a Rayo Vallecano side that gave them scant trouble in this fixture last season. Atléti are deserved favourites at 8/15.
Vallecano, for their part, enter their fourth successive season in the top flight on the back of a respectable 12th position finish in the Primera Liga.
Paco Jémez saw his side reduced to just 7 first team players earlier this summer after a mass exodus of playing staff either on free transfers or returns to their parent clubs after loan spells. Jemez took action and was very active in the transfer window adding, most notably, Villareal defender Javier Aquino (loan) and speedy striker Jonathan Pereira (loan). Both will be looking to impress from the get- go.
He has also secured the return on-loan of Atléti man Leo Baptistao who will undoubtedly be keen to show his best form having watched Madrid`s incredible league win from the sidelines last year.
As it is, expect more exciting attacking football from Rayo this season with the same defensive frailties that accompanied them last time out. Always entertaining to watch, but the smart money is on Los Rojiblancos!