In a classic contrasting style of games, Manchester City host Atletico Madrid as Pep Guardiola continues his search for another Champions League glory. With Diego Simeone at the other side, it'll be destined for a memorable clash in the history of Europe’s premier competition.
Pep seeks to avoid Bayern memory
Guardiola built one of his best sides in his time at Bayern Munich, but the lack of European glory made it a footnote. In his three years spell at the German juggernaut, Guardiola could’ve connected better with the fans if the elusive trophy arrived.
While the first two times he was denied by Real Madrid and Barcelona, the third was the most agonizing exit for Guardiola’s Bayern. It was another Spanish side in Atleti, but the manner of their elimination was different.
Simeone’s Atletico secured a narrow win in the first-leg through tidy footwork by Saul. Bayern dominated the return leg, but things went against them with Thomas Muller missing a penalty-kick in a decisive part of the game.
When and where to watch?
The match kicks off at 20:00 on Tuesday 5th April 2022, and the entire match will be available on BT Sport 2.
Atleti secured seven consecutive La Liga wins
While their beating of Manchester United at Old Trafford is impressive, Atletico Madrid also make up for the ground lost in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League in La Liga.
The 4-1 home success against Alaves was their seventh successive win in the league. For the side that lost five of the previous eight games, this is a great improvement as they now climbed to the top three of the standings.
With games against Real Madrid, Sevilla and Real Sociedad still on the calendar, their mission is yet to be completed. But Atleti showed they’re the in-form side in La Liga alongside Barcelona by scoring three or more goals in four of the seven games winning streak.
The first meeting between the clubs
Both clubs reached the Champions League finals in their history, but have yet to lift the trophy. This will be the first tie involving the sides in competitive fixtures. Guardiola has a superior record in three head-to-head matches against Simeone, but the Argentinian prevailed in their only previous knockout meeting back in 2015/16.
Manchester City & Atletico Madrid Team News
Ruben Dias was unavailable for Portugal’s final push for World Cup qualification, and he was also not part of City’s squad at Burnley on Saturday.
Yannick Carrasco is suspended while Daniel Wass, Matheus Cunha, Sime Vrsaljko and Thomas Lemar are all injured.
Who will draw the first blood?
As seen from the previous round of fixtures, the cancellation of the away goals rule gave ties more balance. Atletico will focus on limiting City’s clear goal-scoring chances, but they’re also capable of creating damage in the final third. Guardiola is usually criticized for overthinking on big European nights, and there is no better opportunity to dispel that than beating a stubborn side like Atletico Madrid.
|Under 2.5 goals||21/20 (2.05)||888Sport|
|Riyad Mahrez to score anytime||4/3 (2.33)||888Sport|