For the second year in a row, Atlético have made it the last eight of Europe’s elite club competition, and go into tomorrow’s Champions League quarter-final draw as a team others will very much be looking to avoid.
The unpredictability of Simeone’s team this season means that Atleti are an unknown quantity. They can quite literally go from beating top of the table Real Madrid 4-0, to losing convincingly the following week at mid-table opposition.
The draw gets underway at 12:00 CET on Friday.
It’s the quarter-finals, which means that the protection from being drawn against teams from the same country is gone. This also means that Atleti could be drawn against Barcelona again – just like last season – or even be given the opportunity for Champions League revenge against Real Madrid.
With three sides present, La Liga has the most representation in the draw. There are two French sides left, in the form of PSG, who knocked out Chelsea in the last 16, as well as Monaco, who knocked out Arsenal.
Rounding out the draw are Bayern Munich, Porto and the team we played in the group stage, Juventus.
For me, a draw against Monaco or Porto has got to be seen as a win. Monaco are perhaps the weakest of the sides, whilst we’ve proven we can beat Porto after last season’s meetings with them in the group stages.
We’re currently seen as fifth favourites to win the competition with a lot of bookmakers, with Juventus just behind us in sixth.
I’m trying to decide if a meeting with Bayern is the worst case scenario, or if a trip to the Camp Nou will be equally as bad.
Here is our European record against the teams in tomorrow’s draw.
Barcelona – Won 1 Drawn 1 Lost 0 – 2 goals scored – 1 goal conceded
Bayern Munich – Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 1 – 1 goal scored – 5 goals conceded
Juventus – Won 1 Drawn 1 Lost – 1 goal scored – 0 goals conceded
Monaco – Never played against in Europe
PSG – Never played against in Europe
Porto – Won 2 Drawn 2 Lost 2 – 6 goal scored – 8 goals conceded
Real Madrid – Won 1 Drawn 0 Lost 3 – 4 goals scored – 8 goals conceded
There’s no easy draws at this stage, but when it comes down to it, we all have our preferences on who we would rather end up playing. I’m keen to know yours.