Atlético Madrid VS Juventus
The Champions League 2019/20 season kicks off with some mouth-watering fixtures. The group stages look to be highly contested and this match-up in particular promises to offer something special given that it is a repeat of last season’s round of 16 fixture, which saw Atlético Madrid exit the competition in dramatic fashion. Diego Simeone’s side were up 2-0 in the first leg but a sensational Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick led to the Bianconceri advancing to the next round.
Both Atleti and Juve have had successful starts to their domestic league seasons and have yet to drop any points. Though it is still early days, both teams have been caught slacking towards the end of the 90 minutes which resulted in goals being conceded. Juve’s Assistant Manager, Giovanni Martusciello, commented after his side’s 4-3 victory over title rivals Napoli, saying that the drop in performance was due to the fact that the season had just started. He went to say, “We had an important physical decline, and against a strong team that dribble like Napoli, that was the thing that put us in difficulty".
Juventus ultimately beat Napoli thanks to an own goal by Kalidou Koulibaly in the dying minutes of the game. Atleti also had a bit of a scare before the international break, in their match against Eibar which ended 3-2. Both teams will have to do a lot of work at the back to ensure a win. This will be especially challenging for Juventus who are without skipper Giorgio Chiellini as the central defender has been ruled out for around six months with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
The Old Lady will be relying on their new signings to make the difference; young Matthijs de Ligt will most likely start in place of Chiellini. Another new signing, who scored during his last match, is Danilo who looks quite comfortable for the Turin side. Atleti’s new summer signings have also settled in quite quickly and look to pose a real threat. Joao Felix has already proven to be clinical in front of goal for Los Colchoneros. Kieran Trippier is loving life in Madrid and could be instrumental in Atleti’s Champions League campaign.
What is certain is that both teams have high expectations placed on them this season and their encounter in the group stage promises to be a football treat.
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
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