Champions League Preview: Atlético vs. Leverkusen

Atlético receives Bayer at Calderón awaiting to qualify for the Quarter Finals.

Atleti prepares to face Bayer, hoping to qualify and advance on the Champions League.

Atleti prepares to face Bayer, hoping to qualify and advance on the Champions League.

Cholo’s men started preparing for their Second Leg of the Champions League’s last 16 earlier this week. They will receive Bayer Leverkusen at Calderón after traveling to their home BayArena exactly three weeks ago. 

Kickoff at Calderón is set for 20:45 CET. 

If we review what happened in Germany, goals from Saúl and Griezmann gave Atleti an advantage on the first half. Once the second half started, Leverkusen scored but a penalty from Gameiro put the team ahead again.

Savic and Moyá’s mistakes left them with an own goal that scared many fans just ten minutes after the penalty. El Niño came to the rescue at the 86th minute, determining Atlético’s win and advantage of 4-2.

Luckily this week, Torres comes to action after full medical clearance. When facing Granada, Savic suffered a nose injury to which he has also been cleared. Gabi also began training with the team after his hand surgery, although the captain has not been called due to his sanction, as well as Filipe.

Facing Leverkusen again means Cholo’s men should apply the same, if not better strategies in order to qualify. However, they might have another advantage: Bayer have decayed to tenth place in the Bundesliga Table and Roger Schmidt was dismissed closely after the team’s loss to Borussia Dortmund (6-2).

Tayfun Korkut stepped out as the new manager shortly after that loss and has encounter with one draw so far. Before Schmidt was dismissed, the team had other two losses including the one against Atleti on the First Leg.

Besides all their concerns, Bayer is showing a pride of being the last European team to face Atlético at the Vicente Calderón. Before that, they faced the Rojiblancos on 2010 and on the round of 16 of the Champions two years ago.

See what they said here:

They praised the stadium’s history as well as the faithful Rojiblanco fans. From our side, Simeone awaits for a full stadium, especially when when dealing with probably one of the last Champions League matches at the Calderón. “Against Bayer Leverkusen, I expect a packed Calderón” he said.

 

Squad list for this match:

Goalkeepers: Moyá, Oblak.

Defenders: Godín, Savic, Vrsaljko, Lucas, Juanfran, Giménez.

Midfielders: Koke, Saúl, Carrasco, Cerci, Thomas, Gaitán, Juan Moreno.

Forwards: Griezmann, Torres, Correa.


  • Athletic Madrid

    My ideal line up;

    Correa
    Gaitan-Griezmann-Carrasco
    Koke-Thomas
    Lucas-Gimenez-Godin-Vrsaljko
    Oblak

  • Vasile Oncea

    Your username says it all…

  • Paweł Kosiński

    To be honest that’s as close as it gets to the XI that’ll probably start – just swap Carrasco or Gaitán for Saúl.

  • AndersAT

    And Torres for Correa 🙂

  • Athletic Madrid

    Torres was finished ages ago. Correa is better than him.

  • AndersAT

    I might agree with you, but it is a bit hard to take you seriously, when you can’t even spell the name of the club correctly.

  • Athletic Madrid

    Athletic is Atletico in english.

  • AndersAT

    But the club is Spanish not English…

  • Athletic Madrid

    Do you want me to type in spanish instead?

  • snᴉsɐlB

    why are you defending your own stupidity? it’s Atletico, not athetlic.
    you are undermining yourself with these childish translations.

    are you going to write the players name with english names too?
    you know like this:
    George Merodio Resurrection,
    Stephen Savic,
    Nick Gaitan,
    Michael Moya, etc..

  • Athletic Madrid

    Why are you so triggered?

  • thericeking

    children

  • AndersAT

    I really don’t care which language you type in.

    I just think it is ridiculous to translate the name of a Spanish club to English.

  • Atletico Madrid

    I’m sorry for being an asshole.

  • Vasile Oncea

    If you knew the club history you would understand. We are Atletico not Athletic

  • snᴉsɐlB

    i’m not triggered at all. i’m just saying that your explanation is stupid af.

  • Atletico Madrid

    They were founded as Athletic Madrid. Look it up.

  • Atletico Madrid

    Yes, I’m an idiot.

  • Vasile Oncea

    I know. We don’t like to be called Athletic

  • Vasile Oncea

    We have the starting line up:
    Oblak, Vrsaljko, Godin, Gimenez, Lucas Hernandez, Koke, Saul, Thomas, Carrasco, Griezmann, Correa

  • Zinni DUDU

    Saul again with usual passing game. Limitless creativity. I hope Kampl will come next season and pay for him. Look how good Kampls passes are.

  • Zinni DUDU

    I am getting a boner by Kampls passing. Then Saul plays a pass and everything is gone.. 🙁

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Smh

  • Zinni DUDU

    Why is Saul doing step overs when he has 5 players around him? He is an ideal copy of ronaldo doing step over without room winning. Hopefully he will warm the fucking bench next season and Kampl will play for him

  • Madrid

    Stop being gay. Transfer ban remember?

  • Zinni DUDU

    There will be a final decision on 24 th april.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I don’t want to point him out but once again he hasn’t impressed me

  • Zinni DUDU

    Yeah maybe bringing in Gaitan and Torres could make an impact.

  • Madrid

    Torres is a relic.

  • Koke

    I don’t know what to do about Saul. I’ve defended him a lot longer than some other fans on here but even I have to admit that he doesn’t contribute nearly enough to warrant a starting spot in a team like ours that supposedly competes for La Liga and the CL. I still think he is immensely talented but I don’t think his average performances are enough to outweigh the occasional moment of brilliance. Thomas has far outshined him and almost always impressed me. If Thomas got as many minutes as Saul has, we would all see his brilliance. He can be made into the next Busquets, except stronger and more athletic.

    Simeone better start making Saul into the mould of Gabi or Tiago, and not a CM. He needs to get passing and playmaking lessons from Koke or something, and decision-making lessons from Gabi. And he shouldn’t ever be the one leading a counter attack or looking for a pass in the final third. Saul and Thomas should compete to inherit Gabi’s spot, Koke keeps his own spot, and we should have an attacking midfielder claim the third spot (Oliver, Gaitan, or a new signing.)

    Otherwise, very quiet game so far (halftime) from Griezmann, Correa, and Carrasco. Of course, they deserve better midfield service, but still. Wonderful game from Vrsaljko, I’m convinced he’s a world class RB and still getting better.

  • Madrid

    I feel your despair. It’s very tasty. 🙂

  • Karlp

    Saul is clearly the worst atleti main player since siqueira. Very excited if we buy Kampl, but knowing Saul will still start, it means we will play with 4CM again

  • Zinni DUDU

    Simeone is surley getting mad. Savic for Carrasco? What is he trying? Catenaccio football?

  • Madrid

    Football is not only about skill. Fashion has a lot to do with it too. 🙂

  • Karlp

    wasted 90mins of my life. Bayer didn’t play well and we’re in a very comfortable position, but choose to play with 5 defender and shit like Saul, instead of train our attacking play.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Thats really respectless towards the fans what the team and Simeone produced today. People are paying money to say a football game and not defensiv fucking simeone football. He is bringing at home against leverkusen by a lead of 4:2 Savic for Carrasco. This man has just to go

  • Karlp

    Gaitan is also dissapointing, almost never shows any impact. Expecting better from 25mil 29 years old creative player.

  • Madrid

    He won’t. 🙂

  • Zinni DUDU

    Well another shit game this season. Saul getting 90 minutes by playing shit. Carrasco and Correa offering most are subbed off. What should we expect this season? Theres nothing more for us than place 4 in the league. And Torres should have got some minutes. Is Simeone so stupid by denying him muintes today. What will happen when we need goals and Torres comes without minutes in against Sevilla after a head injury? Well I mean why using three subs when we have a two goal lead?

  • Madrid

    80% guaranteed that we will finish 3rd if we beat Sevilla on sunday.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Yeah “when we beat Sevilla”. It is going to be hard match on sunday. Sevilla played maybe like shit against Leicster but they are pressing high and fucking every opponent by chasing them (normally what we like to do).

  • nandes

    ‘This man’ is the only coach to reach the UCL quarters in each of the last four seasons

  • Zinni DUDU

    I know what to do: Bench him and let play Thomas beside Gabi and Koke on the wing. Just easy as that. And when Augusto is back we could play with Gabi and Augusto together and Koke and Carrasco on the wings.

  • Karlp

    If we didn’t win UCL, I would be very grateful if Griez didn’t move.

    Deserves much better attacking support.
    Gameiro is a very good partner, and I prefer him unless we can get someone like Auba. Seriously, not many striker is as selfless and as supportive as Gameiro.
    Correa and Carrasco has a lot of potential but they still won’t be an effective player by next season, probably the next after that.
    With Saul, it’s like we’re playing with 10.5 player. A 2 men CM job have got to be done with 3CM just to accomodate him.

  • Zinni DUDU

    We really should consider selling Saul to ManU or an other english club for 60 or 70 Mio. I think alot of stupid english team would pay alot of money, because they only know his goal against Bayern.

  • Karlp

    The most annoying thing is, Sevilla is in bad position currently and each of our player is better than each of theirs, but still Simeone will park the bus like no other.

  • Mitch

    Not 80%, I’m 110% sure we’ll BEAT the HELL out of Sevilla on Sunday! and we’ll be 3rd the latest by week/matchday 30th.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Why do you bring of Carrasco and bring in Savic? Can you explain me that? We had an adventage by the first leg and then that.

  • Karlp

    Simeone is clearly nervous with that Barca’s comeback scenario (he mentioned that in the presser), but seriously we already have 4 defender and 3CM.

  • Joa Andrew

    If anything, Oblak definitely the MOTM for me. I sure hope Simeone experiments with Thomas instead of Saul though, such an amazing player from the past few matches I’ve seen.

    https://my.mixtape.moe/qwudiu.mp4

  • AnonX

    To me Saul is a better forward than a central midfielder. He is good in the box, can competently finish and have aerial threats too. He’s not a starting eleven but a superb player to bring in when you want to break a deadlock with a winner.

    But overall poor display today because the team took this game like as if they have already won and exerted out less effort with a defensive approach which isn’t good addition to the overall morale boost coming to next game.

    I hope we bounce back stronger in the next.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Simeone should experiment with hiself in Inter Mailand. I still do not believe that he is an argentine; must be Italian when you sub in a fucking defender for a striker when you have 4:2 lead

  • Zinni DUDU

    Well I thought also about that, But when will he learn that playing defensivly solid is not about throwing in CM or CB. You can play also with creative players defensiv solid by bringing the fucking game to the opponents half.

  • nandes

    We had a good lead and lots of injured and sanctioned players, so it was obvious this was going to be a uneventful game unless Bayer pushed really hard and they didn’t.

    Don’t get the complaints but I’m used to the overreactions and trolling around these parts already…

  • Zinni DUDU

    It is about playing bright and good, Fans are paying money to see a football game and not coward trainer who is subbing in defender by 70 minutes of playing time.

  • Karlp

    because this is the game where we can really exercise our attacking play, and this kind of game doesn’t come often. To lift the confidence of players like Correa and Carrasco. To make Griezmann happy with attacking play.

  • Madrid

    Trolling, that’s what we do.

  • Joa Andrew

    Don’t worry, I agree with you. Let’s just hope Atleti bring on a good performance in the quarterfinals, no matter who it is.

  • Hannu

    Oliver? Oliver was sold..

  • AnonX

    Let’s see this through !
    I am IN.

  • nandes

    I get your point and I think it could’ve been a good time for an attacking display too, but Simeone always focuses on the priorities and we also have an important match this weekend so… Sad that Correa and Carrasco didn’t have a chance to shine but we have to remember that Leno played quite a good game as well.

  • George

    I agree with you..I’ve defended him myself against some people blaming him but today he was terrible…Oblak,Thomas,Gimenez were the best today and two of them don’t have a starting position..

  • Hannu

    Agree. We are through with clean sheet and game was in our hands so we did what we had to do and thats it. I quess people have to whine from something every fucking game be it Saul or something else..Some of these “fans” that write here nowadays sound more like fans of that other madrid based team than Atleti.

  • Vagabond Messi

    I hope Sineone takes Saul to Inter when he leaves.