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Atlético Madrid v Juventus

Griezmann v Cristiano Ronaldo: The battle of the mercurial forwards to decide Atletico v Juventus?

06:39 EAT 20/02/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2018-19
Both sides will be banking on the cutting-edge forwards they have in their ranks to power them through...

Thursday is set to witness a clash of the heavyweights when Juventus travel to Spain to take on Atletico Madrid in a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash. However, the tie also witnessess two heavyweight forwards in Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann come face-to-face again.

While both Atletico and Juventus are teams which primarily relies on their defensive organisation and tactical brilliance, it will be these two brilliant forwards who are set to make the difference.

Antoine Griezmann has been an influential figure for Atletico Madrid ever since he moved to Madrid. Not only does he help Diego Simeone's side maintain their defensive positioning with his workrate, the Frenchman is Atletico's outlet during their forays forward.

He is not just a goalscorer but also a playmaker and his intelligent movement will be tough for Juventus to deal with. He has been in good form both domestically and in Europe as well. Griezmann has 12 LaLiga strikes to his name already apart from seven assists. He has also created almost seven big chances for his teammates which has gone begging.

In Europe, he has four goals already and two more assists. But what must ring the alarm bells for Giorgio Chiellini and co. will be the fact that the fleet-footed forward is a big match player who delivers the goods in such games.

At the other end, a well-drilled Atletico defence will be put to test by a familiar foe in Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar has not missed a step ever since moving to Juventus from Real Madrid at the start of the season. He is leading the goalscoring charts in Serie A with 19 strikes to his name and has seamlessly slotted into Juventus' forward line.

Ronaldo's eye for goal a keen sense of positioning is second to none and something that Massimiliano Allegri will hope makes the difference against a strong opponent. Though Ronaldo has not been in the best of forms in Europe, having scored just the solitary goal in the group stages, to write him off would be a folly.

Not only has the 34-year-old shown time and time again that he is the man for the big moments, he also loves scoring against Atletico Madrid. He has an overall haul of 22 goals against Atletico and is the all-time highest scorer in the Madrid Derby. Not to mention the three hat-tricks he has scored against the Los Colchoneros, the last of which came in a Champions League semifinal tie in 2017.

It should make for an engrossing battle on Thursday. Who will come out on top? Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus or Antoine Griezmann's Atletico Madrid?

Watch Atletico Madrid's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash against Juventus LIVE on Goal for free