Sunday, April 30, 2017

Prediction: Leicester City vs Atletico Madrid


Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Premier League champions Leicester City are not without chances of reaching the Champions League semi-final after the 1-0 loss at Vicente Calderon, although they still have a mountain to climb. Atletico Madrid rarely concede and the one-goal advantage from the first leg is perfectly suited to their counter-attacking style of play.

Leicester City

Winning the Premier League trophy and playing in Champions League quarter-finals couldn’t even cross the minds of Leicester City players and fans alike just a couple of years back, but that is now a reality as the Foxes are vying last year’s finalists Atletico Madrid for a place in the last four of Europe’s elite competition. Having undergone a genuine renaissance under Craig Shakespeare, Leicester City have all but secured top flight survival as they boast a nine-point advantage over the bottom three, while they also have a game in hand. This means that the Foxes can fully focus on the upcoming high-profile clash against Atletico Madrid, and we have to point out that they did really well to keep the tie alive after the first leg. Heading into the game after the 4-2 loss to Everton, the Foxes managed to keep things tight at the back, conceding the only goal from the penalty spot, but we have a feeling the return leg will prove even more difficult for the English side. This time, the Foxes will have to attack in an attempt to overturn the deficit, and we don’t think they will have an answer for Atletico’s lethal counterattacks, especially given their defensive problems.

Team News

Captain Wes Morgan is almost certain to start despite not being at 100% due to the fact that Robert Huth misses out through suspension.

His defensive partner Yohan Benalouane should be fit to play despite coming off with a cramp at the weekend, while Islam Slimani is also battling an injury.

Atletico Madrid

Two defeats in three Champions League finals were supposed to be too much for Atletico Madrid and some doubted they would again be challenging for the coveted title any time soon, but Diego Simeone and his men appear to enjoy proving doubters wrong. Once again, the team’s incredible character has come to the fore, and while the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona all look set to be eliminated, los Colchoneros are on the verge of progressing to the last four. Atletico were unable to join the title chase in La Liga, but they are on the road to secure automatic Champions League berth and appear to be in very good form at the moment. While sharing spoils with Real Madrid on the road, los Colchoneros won five of last six games, hammering Osasuna 3-0 at the weekend despite missing two late penalties. What is more, they are unbeaten in last 12 matches on the road (W6 D6) and only lost to Bayern Munich on the road in the current Champions League campaign.

Team News

Diego Simeone welcomes back Miguel Angel Moya and Kevin Gameiro, but Augusto Fernandez, Tiago Mendes and Sime Vrsaljko are out injured.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in last 12 away games (W6 D6)
  • Los Colchoneros won four of last six on the road (D2)
  • Atletico conceded mere 2 goals in last 9 fixtures
  • Leicester City won last five home games
  • The Foxes are winless in last three matches (D1 L2)

Conclusion

Being forced to attack arguably Europe’s best counter-attacking side in spite of serious defensive problems is a recipe for disaster, and that is the main reason why we are backing Atletico Madrid to record another victory over Leicester City. On top of that, los Colchoneros are rock-solid at the back and conceded just two goals in last nine games.

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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