Italian giants, Juventus will go away from home to Wanda Metropolitano to take on Spanish giants, Atletico Madrid for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash.
Juventus is seen by many to be favourites to clinch Europe’s most coveted trophy for a club side but they would have to defeat Atletico Madrid first to see their dreams come alive.
You would be right to say that Atletico haven’t been the fanciest of teams to watch but credit must be given to them for the way and manner in which they grind out results.
Simeone’s Madrid have reached the finals of the Champions League twice in five seasons and are second just behind Barcelona in the Laliga. Prior to that, they were the Kings of the Europa league and are therefore no pushovers as far as European competitions are concerned.
They have been impeccable in Europe and are now unbeaten in their last 12 home Champions League games. They would be favourites to get the win on home soil but would need to be cautious at the back to ensure a clean sheet.
Recent form (all competitions): D W W L L W
Juventus have their names written on the Serie A title and have dominated Italian football for some time now. However, those are no longer priorities for them and it’s the Champions Glory they so desire.
Little wonder why they have dug deep into their pockets to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, a well-known Champions League hero.
Prior to this signing, they have reached nine European Cup finals and have lost seven of those. They will be willing to try their luck this time and hope that everything goes according to plan.
Defeating Atletico might seem a tall order for so many European teams but the Italian giants have all that it takes and would be willing to make a good go at it.
Recent form (all competitions): W W L D W W
Lucas Hernandez will be out due to injury with Koke remaining an injury doubt for the Spanish side
For Juventus, it is Juan Cuadrado who takes up a space on the sidelines with Chiellini and Bonucci having returned from separate injury spells.
Possible Starting Line-Up
Oblak; Luis, Godin, Gimenez, Arias; Saul, Rodri, Koke, Thomas; Griezmann, Morata.
Szczesny; Sandro, Bonucci, Chiellini, Cancelo; Pjanic, Matuidi, Emre Can; Ronaldo, Dybala, Mandzukic