After missing out by one yellow card we are back again with another match day, this time around we’re taking our attention to Spain where Atletico Madrid face Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16. This looks to be a fascinating game as both teams are equally matched going into this game. Tonight’s occasion also marks Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to one of his many rivals Atletico Madrid and manager Diego Simeone. Ronaldo’s rivalry with Atleti is easy to explain, he has a prolific record against the Spanish giant and as a Madridista he is very unpopular with the Atleti faithful. In 2019 his historic display at Juventus where he scored a hattrick to dump Atletico out of the Champions League, has only added more fuel to this fierce rivalry.
Atletico Madrid hasn’t had it easy this season. They currently sit fifth in the La Liga and really have struggled this season. After winning their 11th La Liga last year, things were looking great for the Spanish side. With League rivals, Barcelona and Real Madrid struggling many believed it was Atletico’s turn to dominate the league, this has been far from reality. Their league form has been questionable, to say the least. Currently sitting in fifth place with the likes of Sevilla and Real Betis above them in second and third respectfully, Diego Simeone’s men are far from last season’s glory.
Simeone himself is a calculated manager and will do whatever it takes to win. it has been rumoured this week that he has been trying out a possible move to a back three, to nullify Manchester United’s strong attacking line. It’s unlikely we’ll see stars such as Griezmann, Carrasco and their captain Koke whom they lost this weekend to injury. However, the likes of Thomas Lemar and Mario Hermoso have returned after the spells out with COVID.
After a convincing 4-2 win away at rivals Leeds, Manchester United go into this game fairly confident. With goals coming from the likes of Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes, the red devils will be hoping to keep up this high scoring streak. After being knocked out of the FA Cup, by Middlesbrough, the Champions League remains the only chance at silverware this season for the three-time UCL winners. This feat will be difficult as they have only reached the final once in the last 12 years way back in 2011.
Manchester United manager Ralph Rangnick will hope to have former Real Madrid defender Varane back in time for the game. However, Uruguayan striker Cavani is unlikely to recover in time to make the trip to Spain. The man for the be occasion Cristiano Ronaldo will have Atletico in his sights as he has managed to score 25 goals in 35 appearances against the Spanish giant and will be looking to add to his already impressive tally.
What Bets To Place
Today’s bet gives you the chance to turn £10 into £57.50 if you place your bet through Ladbrokes. What’s better is that if you sign up to Ladbrokes, they will offer the chance to place the bet for free! For example, their welcome offer grants you £20 in free bets when you place a minimum of a £5 bet. This means even if you placed then £10 bet and lost, you’d still be up £10 – It’s a win-win!
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Here is the betslip on Ladbrokes for today’s game:
- Both Teams To Score
- Over 1.5 Goals
Both teams have struggled for clean sheets this season so there should be a few goals in this one, with both teams averaging over 3.00 match goals. To further back the high chance of goals is clean sheet percentage for both teams, Atletico have only a 28% clean sheet rate while Man United have an even lower 23% clean sheet rate.
Goals and Cards
- Ronaldo 1 Shot On Target
- McTominay To Be Booked
Every United bet I have predicted I have always gone for a Ronaldo Shot on Target, and the proof is in the results. He has always come through, with tonight being a massive occasion I have not doubt the Portuguese striker will be primed and ready to go.
There should be plenty of cards tonight and McTominay has been among them this season. He has averaged 1.50 fouls this season and has also been shown a yellow 6 times already. With tempers flaring the hard tackling Scot will be at the heart of the midfield battle tonight, hopefully resulting in a mistimed challenge or two.