Thursday, May 24, 2018

Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico Madrid

Verdict: Atletico Draw no bet

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: William Hill

With both sides somewhat struggling on domestic stage, their clash in the Champions League last 16 stage will be a good opportunity for one of the teams to kick-start their season. The good news is that both Leverkusen and Atletico have shown improvement of late, which should make for an exciting encounter at Bay Arena.

Bayer Leverkusen

Even though the playing squad is not exactly weaker than in recent years, Bayer Leverkusen have experienced all sorts of problems this term, and they have only recently climbed to the top half of the Bundesliga standings. Die Werkself appear to have returned to the right track in just the right time as there is still enough games for them to close the gap behind their top 4 rivals and mount a serious challenge for Champions League positions. That seemed a tall order following back to back losses to Borussia M’gladbach and Hamburg, but Bayer then showed a great deal of improvement to beat Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg, scoring three goals in both of those games. And with team’s top scorer Javier Hernandez bagging four goals in the process, the hosts have reason for optimism ahead of the Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid. Die Werkself are unbeaten in last eight matches in the competition, but only won two of those games, so chances are we will see another close encounter on Tuesday evening.

Team News

Key midfielder Lars Bender picked up a minor injury in weekend’s triumph over Augsburg and he faces a fitness test, but Hakan Calhanoglu (suspension) and Jonathan Tah (thigh injury) are definitely out.

Atletico Madrid

Just like their next opponents, Atletico Madrid haven’t always been at their best this season, but los Colchoneros have seriously raised their game of late. Diego Simeone’s charges have now won their last three La Liga matches, showing a great deal of character to score two late goals against Celta Vigo, and bagging another three after the 80th minute vs Sporting Gijon, which is clearly suggesting the players have restored the lost confidence. And having also given mighty Barcelona a run for their money in the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie at Camp Nou, Atletico Madrid players can be forgiven for feeling optimistic about their chances of progressing to the next stage. The 4-1 victory over Sporing Gijon ended Atletico’s four-match winless run on the road (D4), but it is important to note that los Colchoneros won two of their last three away matches in the Champions League (L1), with each of those games producing just one goal.

Team News

First choice goalkeeper Jan Oblak is back in training after recovering from a shoulder injury, but he may not be risked in Germany.

Lucas Hernandez will join the squad after undergoing a trial, but Diego Godin, Augusto Fernandez, Tiago Mendes and Juanfran are all unavailable.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Leverkusen are unbeaten in last 8 Champions League fixtures (W2 D6)
  • They won just one of last five at home (D4)
  • Atletico won two of last three UCL matches on the road (L1)
  • Each of those games produced just one goal
  • Both sides won their last two league fixtures


Even though they have showed some improvement in recent weeks, Bayer Leverkusen will have to be wary of revived Atletico Madrid, who did pretty well on their previous Champions League travels. Los Colchoneros are high on confidence after scoring five late goals in last two matches and we are backing them to do well at Bay Arena.

Verdict: Atletico Draw no bet

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: William Hill





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