Atletico Madrid host Juventus at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Wednesday in the first round of Champions League fixtures. They will be looking for revenge after a surprising collapse and being knocked out of the tournament by the Old Lady in last season’s Round of 16.
Atletico won the first leg of last season’s meeting and looked like they had one foot in the quarter-finals ahead of the return leg in Turin. The 2-0 win wasn’t enough though as Juventus turned on the style and flipped the tie on its head by securing a 3-0 win thanks to a famous Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.
Real Sociedad gave Atletico a humbling on Saturday so they will need to be much-improved on Wednesday night. They will go into the match against Juventus as slight favourites, but it is going to be very hard to split them. Juventus will head to Madrid on the back of a dull, yet competitive goalless draw against Fiorentina. It’s Atletico’s more than impressive home record that will take them into the match as favourites as Wanda is a venue where the fans and players alike rarely experience a defeat.
Alvaro Morata is a doubt to face his former side on Wednesday night, as is Thomas Partey who is also an injury concern. Jan Oblak will most likely start for Atletico, despite being listed as doubtful after being forced out of the weekend’s defeat against Real Sociedad after picking up a facial injury.
Diego Simeone has a decision to make as Stefan Savic and Mario Hermoso battle it out for the chance to partner Jose Gimenez at the back, although it is expected that Savic will get the nod.
Emre Can will have zero involvement whatsoever as he surprisingly failed to make the final cut for Juventus’ Champions League squad for this season. Douglas Costa has been a regular so far this season but will miss this match through injury, although Juventus do have a boost in the fact that Miralem Pjanic could return and feature in Madrid.
The goalkeeping position is up in the air and there is uncertainty to whether Sarri will go with Szczesny or bring in Buffon for his first appearance since returning to the club after a short stint in Paris.
Atletico are the slight favourites and that is probably a fair reflection despite the collapse against Juventus last season. Atleti still beat Juventus in the home leg and their record at the Wanda Metropolitano is solid, losing just once in their last 22 La Liga games there. Atletico have also won 14 of their last 17 home matches in the Champions League. They won all four at home in last season’s tournament and I think they are good value to win with there being few goals in the game. You can take them to win with there being under 4.5 goals at 2.50.
Atletico kept three clean sheets in their four home matches in Europe last season which included the 2-0 win over Juventus. They also kept out Borussia Dortmund and Monaco, with Brugge being the only side they conceded against during a 3-1 win. Clean sheets are Atletico’s speciality and they have kept an impressive 10 in their last 14 matches at Wanda. Both teams to score ‘No’ is 1.75 and an Atleti clean sheet looks like value at 2.50.