Best Odds: 11/5
A re-run of last season’s tantalising UEFA Champions League semi-final will be a stern test to Carlo Ancelotti’s perfect start with Bayern Munich, perhaps his greatest challenge yet as he travels to Vicente Calderon to face a rejuvenated Atletico Madrid.
Consecutive stalemates with Alaves and Leganes sent huge shockwaves through the Red and White part of Madrid and placed great pressure on Diego Simeone’s shoulders. The temperamental tactician responded by cutting short his contract with Atletico Madrid but at the same time professing his dedication and commitment for the club’s cause. It appeared to have been a wake-up call for Los Colchoneros who returned to winning ways with three consecutive triumphs both domestically and in Europe. Having gone through a big fight to get a point out of their clash with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid are now coming off from a 1-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna and will be highly motivated to keep the good form going as they meet the German giants. The two sides met last season when Atletico Madrid eliminated the Bavarians on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate win. It was Diego Simeone’s message of intent to Pep Guardiola and the Argentine will be keen to welcome the new Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti in similar fashion.
Diego Simeone will have most of his preferred starters available despite some injury problems to his squad.
Tiago, Cerci and Moya continue to miss out through injury, while Jose Gimenez and Augusto Fernandez are joining them in the medical room with knee and thigh problems, respectively.
The Bavarians have made a stunning start to the new season under Carlo Ancelotti. Eight wins on the trot across all competitions are all positive signs of the Italian’s influence, who has not changed much compared to Pep Guardiola’s team. One thing that is different though is the team atmosphere, balance and chemistry. Bayern Munich appear to have set sail to calm waters as the Bavarians are thoroughly enjoying their football at the moment. Having opened their European account with a 5-0 victory over FK Rostov, Bayern travel to Spain looking for a revenge against the team which knocked them out of the semi-final last term. Having won a joint-record three Champions League title during his managerial days, Carlo Ancelotti appears to be the right man to guide Bayern to success against respected rivals. Ancelotti will be tasked with preserving Bayern’s record of nine in last ten UEFA Champions League games without a defeat as he leads his defensively tight unit against the unpredictable attack at Vicente Calderon.
Summer recruit Mats Hummels is a serious selection doubt due to a knee injury, while Holger Badstuber is unavailable through muscle injury.
In addition, Bayern travel to Spain without influential winger Douglas Costa, who has also been ruled out through injury.
Key Factors to Consider
- Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in last 8 matches across all competitions
- Los Colchoneros eliminated Bayern in the semi-final of the Champions League
- Bayern Munich have notched all eight victories in the new season
- Bavarians have conceded only 4 goals in the 2016-17 campaign
- Both teams kept 5 clean sheets in their last 6 matches in all fronts
Wednesday’s clash between Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich promises to be a cracker of a game. Two of the Europe’s biggest clubs with tight defences and lethal attacks go head to head once again after last season’s two-legged encounter in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League and we predict a close-knit contest fans will enjoy in.
Best Odds: 11/5
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