Manchester City hosts Atletico Madrid tonight for a heavyweight Champions League match.
Diego Simeone already had a successful trip to Manchester during this tournament. Now, he will head to the Etihad Stadium to play in the first leg of a quarterfinal tie.
Atletico scored four goals against Alaves to enter the game on Saturday night. However, they are on a streak of seven wins in their last eight and appear to be unable to defend their LaLiga title. Real Madrid is 12 points ahead of them at the summit and only eight matches remain.
City, last year’s losing finalist, maintained their one-point Premier League title lead with a routine victory over Burnley.
City in dominant form
Although the Citizens are only one point behind Liverpool in the Premier League’s top spot, they’re playing excellent football right now. Pep’s men are unbeaten in seven of all competitions and have conceded only two times. City won 2-0 against Burnley over the weekend, following the international break.
It should have been a bigger margin of victory for the visitors, who completely controlled this fixture. Kevin De Bruyne scored an early goal with a volley. Raheem Sterling added his second assist with a team goal that Ilkay Gundogan completed.
Man City is yet to be tested when it comes to Europe. PSG had their hands full in the group stages, but the Sky Blues managed to win the title. Guardiola’s team was simply no match for Sporting, scoring five goals in the first leg. Although Atleti isn’t the best, their form has improved tremendously in recent months. They won’t be taken for granted by City.
Atletico faces possible injury scare
La Liga title-holders are fresh off a 4-1 victory against Alaves, where Joao Felix scored a brace and Luis Suarez scored a brace. However, the side was dealt a serious injury blow that could have significant implications for Tuesday. Jose Gimenez, Uruguay’s center back, limped out of Saturday’s game with only minutes remaining. Although it is not known if he will be missing against City, Atletico’s backline will be troubled if he does.
Simeone’s team has climbed back up to the top four in Spain with six consecutive league wins and seven overall. After playing to a 1-1 draw at Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg, Renan Lodi’s second-half header at the Theatre of Dreams was sufficient to end United’s European hopes and send Cristiano Ronaldo home earlier.
Atleti will try to win the double over Manchester teams. This would be the first time since 1976-1977 that Atleti has played City and United in the knockouts. That year, the Old Lady won the UEFA Cup. The visitors, despite being the heavy underdog, will feel confident after their remarkable winning streak. After shocking Liverpool in Round 16 of 2019, they won’t be intimidated by a big-name opponent.
News from the Atletico Madrid vs Man City team
Kyle Walker will serve the City’s last Champions League game, while Guardiola will remain without RubenDias (hamstring), and Cole Palmer (foot).
Simeone will have a nearly full Atletico squad to choose from, with Hector Herrera being the most doubtful after the defeat over Alaves.
Joao Felix recovered from a knock and scored a brace in Madrid, while Matheus Cunha (Daniel Wass), Thomas Lemar, Sime Vrsaljko, and Matheus Cunha all returned to the matchday team after being injured.
Man City vs Atletico Madrid prediction
It is an interesting matchup between two coaches with very different views on how to play the game. Simeone’s style might dampen City, but the English champions should be able to win the first leg.
Man City wins, 2-0