20th of February 2019 Author: Johnny Karp
One of the fiercest clashes of the UEFA Champions League round of sixteen will take place at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the Spanish capital tonight, when Atletico Madrid host Serie A champions Juventus in the first leg of their tie. These two sides have met just twice before, both times in the group stage of the Champions League in 2014. At that time Atletico grabbed a narrow 1-0 victory at home and held out for a goalless draw in Turin. Atletico have won 14 of their 25 matches against Italian sides in European competitions, while Juventus have won just 22 of their 60 games against Spanish teams.
Atletico Madrid remain one of the toughest teams to meet in a cup competition, even though this season they got knocked out of the Spanish Cup by Girona after a 1-1 away draw and a 3-3 draw in Madrid. Their Champions League run has not been perfect either, they finished second in Group A behind Borussia Dortmund after having won four of their six matches. Last week Atletico have recovered from back-to-back defeats in LaLiga with a narrow 1-0 victory at Rayo Vallecano. Lucas Hernandez is injured and won't be able to play in this match, while Koke is an injury doubt for the home side.
Juventus seem as strong as ever, even though they had their own mishap in the domestic cup competition. At the end of January the Bianconeri suffered a shock 3-0 defeat at Atalanta in the quarter-finals of the Italian Cup, but they are still comfortably leading the Serie A table. They have lost two of their six matches in the Champions League group stage but they still finished at the top of the table, two points clear of Manchester United. Last week they recorded an easy 3-0 victory over Frosinone in Serie A. Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini both played in that match after recent injury worries, so they will most likely be on the pitch on Wednesday. Juan Cuadrado is the only injury concern for Juventus.
Atletico: Oblak - Arias, Gimenez, Godin, Luis - Correa, Rodrigo, Partey, Niguez - Morata, Griezmann
Juventus: Szczesny - Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro - Pjanic, Bentancur, Matuidi - Dybala - Mandzukic, Ronaldo
My prediction: 1-1 draw, these two teams will first try to make sure they don't lose this match.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Atletico win - 2.90
Draw - 3.00
Juventus win - 2.87
30th of September 2014
12th of March 2019
Atletico played a really good game beating one of the tournament top favorites which will allow them going to Turin with a really solid lead.
I'm far away of thinking this tie is already decided though, I think Juventus will go into attack from a minute 1 of the re-match and it's up to Atletico to show how calm and compose they could be and also if they believe enough.
Promising to be a really great match that second leg so let's hope it would be such.
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