Champions League Preview: Atlético vs. Leicester C.

After a draw in the Derby last weekend, Simeone prepares the team to focus back on the Champions.

Atlético receives Leicester City FC ahead of the first leg of the Champions' Quarter Finals.

Atlético receives Leicester City FC ahead of the first leg of the Champions' Quarter Finals.

Atlético prepares for the first leg of the Champions League Quarter Finals at the Vicente Calderón. Leicester City praised the club and admitted Atleti will be the toughest and biggest European rival they will face so far.

Kick off at Calderón is set for 20:45 CET.

A draw at home against Leverkusen, almost a month ago, sealed Atlético’s qualification for the Quarter Finals. Leverkusen struggled to create chances, but thankfully Atleti’s defense, and Oblak’s spectacular triple save, was great enough to leave the Germans scoreless.

With three consecutive wins over Sevilla, Málaga and Real Sociedad, Cholo’s men reclaimed the third spot in the LaLiga standings. This gave Atleti confidence for their Derby last Saturday, in which Griezmann’s goal saved the team from giving Real Madrid three more points.

Leicester City are currently 11th place in the Premier League, although they are in spectacular form. In the past five matches, they’ve won four and lost just once.

One of these wins included their match against Sevilla that qualified them for the Quarter finals, with an aggregate score of 3-2. Although Sevilla has been going head-to-head with Atlético in LaLiga, Leicester still believes Simeone’s men will be harder to beat than the Andalucian side.

“Unlike against Sevilla, if Leicester lose by any margin in Madrid it will be very difficult to turn it around,” said Rob Daly, a European football expert that gave his opinions the Quarter Final clash. You can read the whole article here: Opposition View: Atlético Madrid

The last time Atlético faced Leicester was in the UEFA Cup’s 1996-97 season. The final aggregate score was 1-4 in favor of Atleti. Before that, they qualified for the same round in 1961-62 season, and they were eliminated by Atleti with a 1-3 score on aggregate as well.

As far as Atlético’s preparations go, Simeone has one more player to call for this round. Nico Gaitán has been given full medical clearance from an arthritis in the metatarsal on his left toe and Tiago has also trained with the team, but has not been called this time. Gameiro is still out of the list, but we hope to see the French man against Osasuna on the weekend.

Leicester, however, will have to play without their star defender Wes Morgan. The Jaimaican international will miss the match due to injury.

“We are confident in our attempt to advance this qualifying round,” Filipe Luis said. “They [Leicester FC] have very good players and are a very solid team,” he continued. “It is going to be complicated. But we are at our best time to face it.”

 

Squad list for tomorrow night:

Goalkeepers: Oblak, Moreira.

Defenders: Godín, Filipe Luis, Savic, Lucas, Juanfran, Giménez.

Midfielders: Koke, Saúl, Carrasco, Gabi, Cerci, Thomas, Gaitán.

Forwards: Griezmann, Torres, Correa.

 


  • Rami bouzaiene

    Vamos atleti

  • Zinni DUDU

    Saul to score five goals

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Interesting time for both teams to meet each other. I believe Simeone knows all too well how to handle two legged ties, this time around I know we’ll look to win by more than one goal while keeping the clean sheet.

    I’m also sure that Gaitan won’t start but he’ll come off the bench eventually, I also hope to see Cerci again.

    Aupa Atleti!!!

  • starvs

    Glad to see the site isn’t dead.

    2-0 would be my realistic ideal result, but can’t take anything for granted in CL.

  • AndersAT

    Looking forward to the game. Very important to keep a clean sheet. It could be a tricky match though. But I really expect a clear victory. We are a much better team, and we have a lot of experience with these big matches.

    My guess would also be 2-0 but I will be happy enough with a 1-0.

  • Ahmad Musa

    Welcome back after a long time off Claudia Suarez. I just wish we won’t take Leicester for granted. I will like to see these players on the field.
    Oblak
    Juanfran, Godin, Savic, Luis
    Saul, Gabi, koke
    Carrasco, Griezmann, Correa

  • Khan

    Two teams in brilliant form and of same financial status playing in different leagues but with similar team spirit… Can’t be more interesting than this match! Expecting Correa / Gaitan to start in place of Saul. Koke should play in more central role where he is best at. Godin and Savic partnership is too good to watch… Hope they maintain their sharpness in each match. Players like Vardy, Mahrez, Ndidi, Gray can cause trouble… But Atleti can contain them… Griezmann, Torres, Luis are in exceptional form but efforts of Gabi, Carrasco, Thomas, Juanfran are always underrated.. Hope they play too well that everybody credits them.. Finally, Barca has lost and expecting same from Madrid… Go Munich! Go ATLETI! With the form of Griezmann and talent of Correa expecting 3-0

  • Zinni DUDU

    Well I read a few hours ago that Simeone has made yesterday an individuell training with Carrasco on the right side to improve him against this defensive Leicester side. I really think that Carrasco could damage their defense, because their defenders are not agile and fast. Beside that putting carrasco on the right side and letting koke play on the left side allows Fiipe to get more often in the attack which helps us to create more chances and Koke is always used to run for Filipe, which was not the case by carrasco on the left side; so Filipe had to do more defensive work and had not many chances to get forward. Juanfran is not so effective anymore by getting in the attack so carrasco has the whole right wing which can give us penetration on the right side and with filipe on the left koke getting in the center to create for Nando and Griezmann. This tactics could work ! I hope only that our defense is able to control Mahrez and Vardy; the rest of the Leicester Team are hardworking but not dangerous.

    My prediction is a 2:0. Hopefully Torres can get his first goals in the Chamopions League in the Calderon before it is demolished. But winning is the most important thing today.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Well you are the last person for sure, who is expecting Cerci in such a big match :D.

  • AndersAT

    I would not think that Correa or Gaitan will start over Saul. Actually, I think Koke has played best on the left. I think he has a bit more space on the wing.

  • thericeking

    if you think only vardy and mahrez are the problem you are wrong. first mahrez is not performing right now, whereas vardy has started too. so yes vardy is dangerous. but they are dangerous from set pieces, like we once were. and their wing backs are dangerous, but i think filipe and vrsalko should be okay there…

    set pieces and vardy is the danger

  • AndersAT

    I think you have to look far after Vrsaljko tonight.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Well Zudu, Carrasco could’ve set up players for goal but he went for glory from very tough angle, Torres also went for glory. Imo, Griezmann is only one who has idea of build up play and try to set up others.

  • Vagabond Messi

    You’re right they’re dangerous on set piece so not giving them corners and fouls around dangerous area should be priority.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Their cross look bang on target.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Yes what a goal. Now , please no corner and set pieces to them , they look dangerous

  • jodo

    I’m multitasking as it’s the afternoon here…but when I see Torres and Carrasco, it’s like Fernando is playing on the wings and Yannick is in the center? Is it just me?

  • Vagabond Messi

    Our wingplay and crosses in box are very bad.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Wtf Torres what a chance

  • Vagabond Messi

    Our corners are useless.

  • jodo

    Ooh, that was bad. To be fair, if it’s slippery, it’s not entirely his fault. But Torres really did nothing in the game. My fav player but he can’t start 2 games a week anymore. He was contributing a couple of weeks ago but as the games pile on, he becomes less effective. He needs to sit the next game and be ready to start in Leicester.

  • Vagabond Messi

    I was not blaming Torre, just expressed dismay

  • Vagabond Messi

    What a play by Correa but noone is making run in box.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Still do not know what was the idea about sub to bring in Thomas for Torres. Gaitan would have been the better choice to deliver some creativity…

  • Zinni DUDU

    I have the bad feeling that we will face real if get through 🙁

  • AndersAT

    I am a little disappointed that we did not get that second goal. It is going to be an dangerous match next week. But I think our strong defense and fast counterattacks will kill Leicester off next week.

  • starvs

    Really thought our first 30 minutes or so was some of the best attacking I’ve seen from Atleti in a long time. Lot of playing through the middle and incisive passes.

    It’s a real shame we are lacking a top quality striker, close to being a great side. Gameiro could be that guy if he gets healthy and in form, I’d rather give him another season than most of the realistic options out there. Along with Correa stepping into a bigger role.

  • AndersAT

    Totally agree with every point.

    I was convinced we would score the second goal after that awesome first half attacking display. But we really played with the brakes on in the second half, trying to score on the break.

    I also think Gameiro would be the best choice. We should maybe bring in somebody as a young secondary option, but perhaps we have someone good from our youth side?

    I still like Inaki Williams from Bilbao a lot, but he will probably cost us a huge amount of money. Other than that I can not see who we could buy that would be better than gameiro.

    It is weird to se mandzukic play for juve. He is not as stationary as I remember him from his time with us. He really looks like a nice fit for us, but somehow it did not work out. I wonder what the problem was. He scored a fair amount of goals in his first (only) season. He really fought with every fibre of his body. I really think he could have been a great player for us.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Interesting game. We dominated the entire match but for some reason couldn’t stick the ball in the back of the net during open play and not for the first time this season.

    I really don’t get why Torres continues to get the nod ahead of Correa, I think in Gameiro’s absence he would have been a better pick because of his speed and maneuverability.

    In the second leg I believe it will be more like the first and as long as we play like we do we should be able to score a couple away goals at least and put this tie to bed.

  • Karlp

    that Saul news really improve my respect in him. For all the criticism I’ve given him all this time, he is always a player with great attitude (rarely complains, rarely feigning injuries). His defensive play keeps improving, but his possession play is still weak (maybe even below Josema).

    Theo Bongonda pleads to join Atleti. He is a player that really excites me. Has a very good dribble and very very fast. If Atleti want to buy him, they should act fast while his price is still cheap, and not waits until he has a breakout season and his price triples.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Same here, that story really made me view everything about his play differetly

  • Ucce

    It didn’t make me view his play any differently, just his personality. Either he is good enough, or he is not. If he were not good enough, he should not still get to play just because he has a noble excuse to be bad. Clearly though, he is good enough. I have defended him all along against the ludicrous voices to play somebody as lousy as Thomas instead of him, Thomas being by far the worst player on the team, probably worse than Cerci. Saul is not a good passer and has his weaknesses, but he is still very valuable to us and a nice defensive or box-to-box midfielder. I think this strange, endless and unfair criticism, which also seems to be without foundation among Spanish fans, has ruined this site.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I know you’re entitled to your opinion but calling Thomas the worst player on the team is by far incorrect. As a matter of fact he was outstanding against Osasuna as well. Also I don’t see Cerci as being the bottom of the barrel.

    How can you attack players whom hardly get playing time? Saul just hasn’t been performing that well this season but with this news I can now understand why. Still I don’t take back my questioning the coach as to why play someone when they haven’t been up to scratch.

  • AndersAT

    That also seems a bit radical. I agree that Saul is a good player and should be used. But Thomas is also a very good player, and I think a more 50/50 use of Saul and Thomas should be utilised. Thomas seems to be better going forward, where he has a great drive with the ball. But I think Saul is better defensively. And I think he is better defensively than Koke and should be played in the centre beside Gabi.

  • Ucce

    I am merely stating the obvious. Why do you think Thomas does not play a lot? Because he is not very good. Thomas will never become a trusted player under Simeone, even if he would seemingly start playing extremely well. This is because Simeone knows this hype type of player. The minute you start relying on them to carry you, things fall apart. You can only have them come off the bench or play alongside somebody else who is better. Alaba, Dante, Coman, Douglas Costa and Pogba are bigger names that are also examples of this type of player. All have been exposed.

    Saul has not been bad, but there have been some problems in finding the right position for him. Now, that the right position has been found, things work better.

    To the people who prefer Thomas: Good luck making Thomas the trusted replacement of Gabi, over Saul or anybody else. It would result in Atletico fighting for the Europa League spots.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    This baseless accusation seems more to do with your personal feelings than anything in actuality. You can continue to think that way, however I can say this is completely false

  • Ucce

    What is false?

  • Hannu

    Yeah Thomas hardly get playing time but one thing I have noticed is that his passing is really poor. Though last game was quite good from him..