I fancy Atletico Madrid to come through this game and win in 90 minutes for a few reasons.
One of the main factors on why I’m down on RB Leipzig is they’ve lost Timo Werner to Chelsea. He netted seven goals in nine league games post lockdown and is a massive loss to the Germans forward unit.
Leipzig are also likely to be missing midfielder Marcel Sabitzer. The Austrian grabbed nine goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga this season, and in the Champions League he’s contributed four goals from midfield. That’s another huge blow to Leipzig’s hopes of advancing here.
Since the resumption, Leipzig’s processes just hasn’t been working like manager Julian Nagelsmann would have hoped. They’ve struggled to convert their chances, which is probably the reason why they weren’t able to mount any sort of title challenge.
On the flip side, Atletico Madrid have pushed on since they returned from lockdown and are unbeaten since – winning seven and drawing four of their 11 games. They were the second-best team in La Liga on form behind their neighbours and Spanish champions, Real Madrid.
Liverpool struggled to break them down over two legs and that shows you how good Atletico are set up by Diego Simeone in that 4-4-2 formation. They even showed a nice attacking threat in extra time to get the job done at Anfield.
They’ve got Diego Costa fit now and Joan Felix, (who I believe is a future Ballon D’or contender) is available to them as well. Atletico also have two fantastic midfield generals in Saul Niguez and Koke, who are just world-class players and it’s all set up for Simeone’s men to claim the victory tonight.
There isn’t an obvious out-and-out goalscoring machine in this Atletico side, only Alvaro Morata has hit double figures for them this season and don’t believe he’ll even start.
Given the way penalties have been freely given out in these European games of late, I’m going to tip up Saul Niguez to score anytime.
While Atletico have shared their penalties this season between Costa, Morata and Niguez, Saul has been the man to set up for them on the big occasion – which he did from the spot successfully against Barcelona at the Nou Camp twice towards the end of the La Liga season.
Niguez is also good to grab a goal from open play and is Atletico’s joint-second top goalscorer.
Don’t forget he popped up to score in the first leg against Liverpool as well. He a phenomenal player and one we are going to hear a lot about at the Euros next year for Spain.
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