An encounter between two recent Champions League finalists promises to be too close to call at the Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid host Juventus at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday in what promises to be a blockbuster Champions League last-16 encounter.
Diego Simeone’s side have lost their way a little domestically in recent weeks, losing two of their last four matches, but worked their way to this point in the competition by finishing second in Group A, which also contained Borussia Dortmund, Club Brugge and Monaco.
Juventus, meanwhile, will hope this encounter acts as a dress rehearsal for another final appearance, with the Spanish capital venue to play host to the showpiece on June 1.
|Game||Atletico Madrid vs Juventus|
|Date||Wednesday, February 20|
|Time||8:00pm GMT / 3:00pm ET|
|Stream (US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|TNT USA / Univision NOW / UniMas||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be shown on BT Sport 3 and streamed on the BT Sport Live app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 3||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Atletico Madrid players|
|Defenders||Arias, Giminez, Godin, Filipe Luis, Savic, Juanfran|
|Midfielders||Saul, Partey, Rodri, Koke, Machin, Correa, Lemar|
|Forwards||Diego Costa, Griezmann, Morata, Kalinic|
Lucas Hernandez is the sole absentee in Atletico Madrid’s ranks.
Diego Costa is recently back from injury and should start, while Koke is also expected to feature from the outset, having been a doubt due to a thigh injury in the build up to this match.
Atletico Madrid starting XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Gimenez, Godin, Filipe Luis; Saul, Partey, Rodri, Koke; Diego Costa, Griezmann
|Goalkeepers||Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Perin|
|Defenders||De Sciglio, Rugani, Caceres, Alex Sandro, Cancelo, Barzagli, Chiellini, Bonucci|
|Midfielders||Pjanic, Matuidi, Can, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Spinazzola|
|Forwards||Ronaldo, Dybala, Mandzukic, Kean|
Juventus starting XI: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Mandzukic, Ronaldo
Betting & Match Odds
The bookies believe this match is too close to call, with Atletico Madrid and Juventus both being offered at odds of 19/10 by Bet365. Meanwhile, the draw is priced at 2/1.
Cristiano Ronaldo has become accustomed to – and even expects – to be the centre of attention on big nights. As such, it should come as little surprise that the focus of the pre-match build up to Juventus’ clash with Atletico Madrid surrounds the man who spent much of his career playing across the Spanish capital for Real Madrid.
It was in the city that the Portuguese genuinely became a legend, helping Los Blancos to three straight Champions League titles.
Now he is aiming for a fourth, but this time in the black and white stripes of Juve.
Having made the move to Turin in the summer, Ronaldo is a player who will give the Serie A outfit the edge in encounters such as Wednesday’s – or at least that’s the thinking of head coach Massimiliano Allegri.
“Ronaldo is the best in the world, and you have more chances to win it with him, but you do not win automatically,” the coach said of his 34-year-old superstar.
Atleti are one of the sides who have suffered most at the hands of Ronaldo, having seen him net against them in the 2014 final then dispatch the winning penalty in the 2016 showpiece.
Despite the habit of the Portuguese coming up trumps against his side, head coach Diego Simeone insists that he is not obsessing over the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“We’re thinking about Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa, Koke and Saul Niguez,” he said. “They’re very excited and keen to play a good game.”
Surprisingly eliminated in the group stages last season, the Spaniards are eager to make a stronger impression this time around, though their coach knows how difficult a task that it could prove.
“They have players of great quality and status, but we have tools to take the game where we want to,” he said. “Both these teams have a 50 percent chance. Neither side has a greater advantage than the other.”
This encounter, it seems, is more delicately poised than any of the other last-16 clashes and it promises to be all the more fascinating for it.