Champions League: Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid
- Date: Wednesday, Sept. 18
- Time: 10 p.m. EAT
- Location: Wanda Metropolitano
Two of Europe’s heavyweights go head-to-head in one of the ties of the round tonight as Atletico Madrid welcome 2017 finalists Juventus on matchday one in the Champions League.
Maurizio Sarri takes charge of his first game in the competition after recovering from pneumonia, with facing off against Diego Simeone’s tactically-sound Atletico.
The Rojiblancos sit top of the Liga table after three wins from four games, though they did suffer a surprise 2-0 defeat away to Real Sociedad on Saturday.
Juve, meanwhile, stuttered to a goalless draw against Fiorentina at the weekend.
Juventus and Atletico Madrid face off once again in the Champions League when they meet tonight in the group stage. Juve knocked Atleti out of the competition last season in a wild round of 16 affair. It’s the opener in Group D for both, as they are joined in the group by Bayer Leverkusen of Germany and Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow.
Atletico Madrid: Joao Felix against Cristiano Ronaldo. The future against the present. Atleti will certainly look to disrupt him with physical place. Going in attack, expect them to play with patience and slow passes to try and shift the defense to find open spaces.
Juventus: Ronaldo loves playing Atletico Madrid and has done it for about a decade with his Real Madrid days including two Champions League finals and just like last year where Juve edged Atletico 3-2 on aggregate to move on.
Team news and predicted lineup
Atletico Madrid coach Simeone could be without star stopper Jan Oblak, who missed the game at Real Sociedad with a head injury. Antonio Adan is on standby if the Slovenian fails his fitness test. Alvaro Morata (knee) and Thomas Partey (hamstring) are expected to miss out.
Juventus could be without three key players for the trip to the Spanish capital. Douglas Costa, Miralem Pjanic and Danilo all came off injured against Fiorentina and may not recover in time to make the squad.
Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot may have to wait to make their European debuts for the Old Lady after their respective free transfers this summer.
Atletico XI: Oblak; Trippier, Gimenez, Savic, Lodi; Vitolo, Koke, Saul, Lemar; Diego Costa, Joao Felix.
Juventus XI: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Matuidi, Khedira; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Ronaldo.