Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid
When Manchester City hosts Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Etihad, an unstoppable force will face an immovable object.
On Tuesday night, Premier League leaders Manchester City will host Spanish champions Atletico Madrid for the opening leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Etihad Stadium.
It will be the first competitive encounter between two teams who finished first in their respective leagues last season.
It will also be a meeting of two opposing mindsets preached by two of the top coaches in the business.
Pep Guardiola has long advocated possession-based football, tiki-taka, and passing the ball to the opposition.
Diego Simeone’s gruff yet efficient defense-first mentality contrasts dramatically with this eye-catching style.
It promises to be a fascinating contest between two teams who are unlikely to abandon their respective ideologies regardless of the opposition.
Both teams have also failed to win the Champions League in previous years, losing in the final.
While a win in the tie will not get them to the final four, it will put them in a better position to make another final.
Manchester City could not have wished for a tougher tie going up to their critical Premier League match against Liverpool.
Simeone’s soldiers will not back down, and unless they can hold their own, the citizens of the city may be in for an unpleasant awakening.
The Hard Tackle examines how both teams might line up on game day and what techniques they might use.
Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid Head to head :
This will be the first ever official meeting between the two teams.
Manchester City have won their last three meetings with Spanish teams.
This includes a pair of wins against Real Madrid in 2019/20 season and the return leg group stage victory against Barcelona at the Etihad in 2016.
The Sky Blues have a good home record against LaLiga sides having won in 5 of the 10 overall duels till now. The remaining five games is split across 3 draws and 2 losses.
Atletico Madrid faced off against Liverpool in this season’s group stage and lost both matches before registering a 1-0 victory at the Old Trafford.
This is their first win against English clubs in six attempts having lost to Chelsea in the both legs of round of 16 knockouts last season.
Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid Prediction :
The game is expected to be close, and the winner may be determined by who lets their guard down the most.
Manchester City have appeared weak when challenged head-on, despite their depth, and it is impossible to imagine Diego Simeone’s side avoiding doing so.
Nonetheless, this is an Atletico team that is far from being unbeatable.
The Spanish champions can be beaten, and considering Manchester City’s skill and strength, it seems likely.
Manchester City vs Atletico Team News :
Pep Guardiola did not mince words after Kyle Walker’s “stupid” red card against RB Leipzig in the group stage, with the right-back serving the final game of a three-match suspension on Tuesday night.
Ruben Dias’ hamstring injury will keep him out for a bit longer, but John Stones made the bench at Burnley after withdrawing from England duties as a precaution.
Guardiola’s only other injury concern is youngster Cole Palmer (ankle), who started Mahrez and Silva on the bench against Burnley but may now opt to bring the attacking combo back into a rotated XI.
Atletico Madrid attacker Yannick Carrasco joins City’s Walker in serving the final match of a lengthy European suspension this week, but Koke and Angel Correa have returned from domestic bans.
With the duo’s return, the visitors’ only absentees for the first leg are Jose Gimenez and MLS-bound Hector Herrera, with Renan Lodi and Rodrigo De Paul both fit enough for 45 minutes at the weekend after returning from international duty in South America.
Luis Suarez’s 15-minute brace against Alaves has given Simeone pause in the final third, but Joao Felix and Antoine Griezmann may be able to continue their connection for the time being.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Laporte, Stones, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Hermoso, Reinildo; Llorente, De Paul, Kondogbia, Koke, Lodi; Griezmann, Felix