Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich
Champions League revenge must surely be on the cards for Los Rojiblancos as the European champions come to town on Tuesday night.
Since Diego Simeone arrived at the club virtually nine years ago, Atletico Madrid have constantly punched above their weight (even if certain achievements took longer than others), reaching two finals of this competition, as well as enjoying La Liga and Copa del Rey success.
That they have continued to be involved at the top end of the game, despite having to sell so many of their best players, is testament to what the Argentine boss has achieved.
However, one of the few embarrassments his side have suffered came last month when they were on the wrong end of a pummeling at the hands of the Bavarians.
Neither Simeone nor his players will have appreciated that and this week they can avenge that defeat and move closer to reaching the knockout stage of the 2020/21 tournament.
That Bayern have already reached the last 16 may help them as boss Hans Flick could rest key players with the group already won.
In truth, Atletico themselves could already have been home n’ hosed but for a frustrating draw with Lokomotiv Moscow in midweek.
As far as the second spot in Group A is concerned, however, they still control their own destiny and will have seen their spirits lifted by a 1-0 win at La Liga leaders Real Sociedad on Saturday.
A late own goal saw them move level on points with their opponents.
Perhaps their biggest concern following that match will be the number of chances that went begging until Yannick Carrasco cut into the box and his cross bounced off the leg of a Valencia defender and trickled into the net.
Without a recognised striker available – both Diego Costa and Luis Suarez are both out – they could find it hard to breakdown a top side like Bayern.
On the upside, Simeone will be encouraged that his side dominated possession and created chances, firing 14 shots at goal only to be denied by an in-form goalkeeper and a goal-line clearance.
While Atletico are joint top of La Liga, Bayern are at the summit of the Bundesliga after Kingsley Coman – the man whose goal clinched Champions League glory for Bayern in August – scored one and set up another as Munich came from a goal behind to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday.
The others were added by – who else – Robert Lewandowski for his 12th league goal of the season and Douglas Costa.
Whether Europe’s leading frontman is among a number of players rested for this encounter remains to be seen but, with so much talent that Simeone and, in particular, Flick can select from, it is not unreasonable to expect Champions League highlights.
Leroy Sane is pushing for a start, having featured off the bench against Stuttgart, while Javi Martinez could earn a spot in the middle of the park.
As well as ex-Athletic Bilbao man Martinez, it will also be a return to Spain for Bayern Munich left-back Lucas Hernandez who played more than 100 games with Atletico – winning a UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup along the way – before moving to Germany last summer.
Even with the possibility of key players missing, Bayern remain a major force and have reached at least the quarter-finals of this competition in eight of the last nine seasons, while they are unbeaten in their last 15 European away games, recording 12 wins in the process during an incredible run.
On the flip side, the Bundesliga giants have lost 15 of their 29 away matches to Spanish clubs in European competition, including defeats on their last two visits to Atletico.
Tuesday’s clash will be the first match between these two teams in Madrid since the group stages of the 2016-17 competition, where Atletico ran out 1-0 winners with Carrasco the marksman.
Atletico were runners up in this competition in 2014 and 2016. Bayern Munich completed the continental treble last term, becoming six-time European champions in the process.
Bayern beat Atletico in the 1974 European Cup final. Their all-time head-to-head record reads three wins for Bayern, two for Atleti, with one draw.
|Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich||Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.03|
|December 02, 04:00(GMT+8)|
A look at the SBOTOP Champions League betting odds actually makes Atletico slight favourites – although that could be because they need to win while Bayern can relax.
It’s 1X2 Atletico @ 2.20 with Bayern priced @ 2.96 and the draw @ 3.60.
Asian Handicap odds are similar with Atletico -0.50 @ 2.21 and Bayern 0.00 @ 2.38.
A re-run of the last time they met in Spain – correct score 1-0 – is on offer @ 9.50, while the highly unlikely chance of another 4-0 success Bayern will earn you a payday of @ 185.00.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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