Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United predictions and match preview for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Diego Simeone’s side target a 1st Leg advantage.
|Wednesday 23rd February 2022
|21:00 (local time)
|UEFA Champions League Group Stage
Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United Preview
Atletico Madrid and Manchester United face off in a clash between two clubs who are having below par seasons domestically and are looking to the Champions League for a chance to rescue their faltering campaigns. Diego Simeone’s side will be very keen to secure a 1st Leg advantage to take back to Old Trafford.
There’s little prospect of that if they play like they did in their last outing at the Wanda Metropolitano. A 1-0 defeat against LaLiga’s bottom club Levante seven days ago represented a fresh low in what has been a fairly woeful title defence. Atleti really needed a morale boosting win at the weekend heading into this tie, and they certainly got it with an improved showing in a 3-0 victory at Osasuna, one of their best results of the campaign.
Joao Felix starred with a goal and an assist with Luis Suarez also netting one of the goals of the season. We probably shouldn’t get too carried away given Atleti only managed 5 attempts in the whole game, the lowest by any side on matchday 25 in LaLiga. However they did manage the game better than they have been of late with a first away league clean sheet of the season and a couple of good saves from the underperforming Jan Oblak, a welcome boost heading into this crunch tie.
Manchester United also enjoyed one of their better weekends of the season with a 4-2 win in an eventful game at rivals Leeds. Ralf Rangnick’s side have gone 7 games without losing in the Premier League which does at least indicate that some improvements have been made. However they’ve not had the toughest of schedules of late with recent draws against the likes of Burnley and Southampton, not to mention an FA Cup exit at home to Championship Middlesbrough, suggesting this is still not a team Atleti really need to fear.
They will carry one or two scars though when it comes to facing Cristiano Ronaldo who has inflicted more pain on them than just about any other footballer in their long history. The Portuguese international has had a mixed second spell at Old Trafford and has at times been cited as a problem rather than the solution for the Red Devils. However he has saved his biggest contributions for the Champions League with 6 goals in the group stage and Ronaldo will be hungry to make his mark on his latest return to Madrid.
Head to Head
- The clubs have only been paired together once before in European competition.
- That was a Cup Winners Cup tie back in 1991/92.
- Atletico Madrid won that 2nd Round clash 4-1 on aggregate.
Yannick Carrasco is banned for Atletico Madrid. Daniel Wass and Mathias Cunha are out injured. Koke, Thomas Lemar and Mario Hermoso are also doubtful and they could really do with at least one of those players to pull through and make this.
Edinson Cavani is the only significant injury doubt for Manchester United who should have a fully fit squad with the exception of the unavailable Tom Heaton and Mason Greenwood.
Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United Predictions
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Manchester United
This is a tough tie to call with neither side looking like serious contenders to win this competition. Atletico Madrid do have a habit of brushing off poor form and putting in a big performance in this competition though and there are shades of two years ago when they were outside the top four in LaLiga but still managed to see off an all-conquering Liverpool side at this stage. With a fully fit squad, you’d have fancied them here, but some significant absentees may make that tricky and a draw looks perhaps the more likely outcome which would put the English side in the box-seat heading into the 2nd Leg.
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