Saturday, September 23, 2017

Prediction: AS Roma vs Atletico Madrid


Verdict: Atletico Draw no bet

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

With Premier League champions Chelsea also in their group, AS Roma and Atletico Madrid will both be hoping for a bright start to the new Champions League campaign, meaning we should witness a highly entertaining encounter at Stadio Olimpico.

AS Roma

AS Roma will have a point to prove in the Champions League group stages after crashing out in the play-offs last term having suffered a surprising 4-1 aggregate defeat to FC Porto. The Giallorossi were this time placed into a strong group alongside Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Qarabag, so a good start is imperative if the Italian giants are to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. AS Roma have been pretty disappointing in previous UCL fixtures, winning just one of last 15, and they are winless in last six. Meanwhile, the Giallorossi had mixed success at the start of the Serie A campaign, first recording a valuable win against Atalanta on the road before losing at home to top 3 rivals Inter Milan. With their weekend’s fixture against Sampdoria postponed due to adverse weather conditions, the hosts may be a bit rusty going into the Atletico Madrid clash, as it will have been 17 days since their previous competitive appearance. And having also won just two of last five home games, AS Roma have reason to fear the high-profile fixture.

Team News

Summer recruit Patrik Schick is unlikely to feature as he battles a thigh injury, with Emerson also sidelined. The good news is that Bruno Peres and Rick Karsdorp are back in contention.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid have been regular in the final stages of the Champions League over the last few years and that definitely gives them an edge over struggling AS Roma. Due to the much publicised transfer ban, Los Colchoneros entered the new season with a virtually unchanged squad, which could prove to be a good thing. Diego Simeone’s men enjoyed a decent start to the league campaign given that they played first three matches on the road, picking up a total of five points from trips to Girona, Las Palmas and Valencia. The difficult fixture list continues with a Champions League game at Stadio Olimpico, followed by matches against Malaga, Athletic Club, Sevilla and Chelsea. The good news is that Diego Simeone finally welcomes back star forward Antoine Griezmann from a domestic ban, while he has no other serious selection problems at the moment. Atletico Madrid have done fairly well on last six Champions League travels, winning three of those games and only losing to Bayern Munich and AS Roma, which gives them confidence ahead of the trip to Italy.

Team News

Sime Vrsaljko and Antoine Griezmann return from injury and suspension respectively, with Augusto Fernandez the only unavailable footballer at the moment.

Key Factors to Consider

  • AS Roma won just one of last 15 CL fixtures (D5 L9)
  • Atletico Madrid won three of last six CL matches on the road (D1 L2)
  • Los Colchoneros won both previous meetings vs AS Roma
  • Atletico were eliminated by local rivals Real four years in a row
  • AS Roma failed to score in last three CL games at home

Conclusion

AS Roma are far from the desired form at the moment and having struggled in previous Champions League fixtures, we doubt they can outperform Atletico Madrid on Tuesday evening. Los Colchoneros tend to impress on UCL travels and we are backing them to take at least one point from Stadio Olimpico.

Verdict: Atletico Draw no bet

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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