Atletico Madrid vs Juventus: Champions League Preview and Prediction
Juventus are all set to travel to Wanda Metropolitano, where they will face Atletico Madrid in their opening game of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League.
The last time these two teams faced each other was in the round of 16 of the 2018-19 Champions League. In the first leg, Atletico Madrid got better of Juventus as they won the match 2-0 with the help of a goal from Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez.
At this point, many of us thought that it’s the end of Champions League journey for Juventus, but the Old Lady squad was not in a mood to give up. In the second-leg, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and got his side to the quarter-final, where they lost to Ajax.
The new season started quite well for both Juventus and Atletico. The two sides managed to win their opening two and three games respectively, however, the result of the last league game wasn’t positive for either side.
Juventus played a goalless draw against Fiorentina and are currently sitting in the third position in the Serie A. While Atletico lost 2-0 to Real Sociedad in an away fixture and are placed on the second position in La Liga.
The Old Lady does have a better and in-depth squad in comparison to the home side, however, Juventus’ record is quite bad at Wanda Metropolitano. The visitors have lost all the games in their last three visits to Spain.
Joao Felix vs Leonardo Bonucci
Atletico Madrid’s talisman, Antoine Griezmann decided to join Barcelona, which put a lot of pressure of getting new talented striker on Los Rojiblancos’ board. This immediate change made Atletico splash money in the summer transfer window. They managed to get a young talented striker, Joao Felix, but they had to spend €126,00 million to land him to Wanda Metropolitano.
The 19-year-old striker did show some promising performances in the preseason tour. Also, he had a decent start to his La Liga career as he has already scored and assisted one goal each in his four appearances.
The real test of Felix will start tonight. There is going to be a lot of goal scoring pressure on him, but if he manages to cope with it and focus on his game, then we might see something special in this match.
Leonardo Bonucci will be the defender up against Felix, tonight. The Italian defender has stopped many great players from scoring goals, and I don’t think it will be difficult to stop the Portuguese.
The only manner in which striker can get past Bonucci is with the help of his pace. The Italian defender is aging, which might get beneficial for Felix.
Stefan Savic vs Cristiano Ronaldo
Stefan Savic is going to handle the responsibility of stopping one of the greatest footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo from scoring, tonight.
The Atletico defender has been tremendous at the back in this season. Savic has made 2.3 tackles per game and 5.5 clearances per game in his three appearances so far. Are these stats enough to put a pause on CR7? Well, I don’t think so.
The Juventus winger has incredible goal scoring record against Los Rojiblancos. CR7 has scored 25 goals in 33 games against the Spanish side, seven of these goals have been scored in the Champions League.
This phenomenal record of Ronaldo does put a lot of pressure on Savic and his side. Atletico does know that if they want to win this fixture, then they have to keep CR7 quiet, tonight.
The Atletico defender will require help from his backline because stopping Ronaldo alone is going to be a huge task for Savic. The Juventus winger will use his dribbling and shooting skills to get past the solid defensive line of Atletico.
This is going to be a tight fixture for the two sides as they both haven’t been consistent in the new season. Atletico Madrid is going to have the home ground advantage, which can spoil the party for the visitors.
The only threat for Los Rojiblancos is Ronaldo as he has fantastic goal scoring record against them. If Atletico manages to keep CR7 silent, then we might see Juventus on the losing end. Nevertheless, I believe that both the sides have quality players in their squad and will succeed in scoring one goal each.
Score prediction: Atletico Madrid 1 – 1 Juventus