Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer

With Barcelona having relinquished its crown, it's down to Atletico Madrid to prove that it's got what it takes to get to the Champions League final yet again. To do so, it's got to overcome the mighty Bayern Munich, which is one of the favourites to win the tournament outright, and has some of the most fearsome attacking play in European football. Let's take a look at some of the best bets.

Match Preview

This is a major clash of styles. Bayern, under former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, has one of the most complex but pleasing-on-the-eye passing styles of any team at the moment, but also has the technical brilliance of the likes of Philipp Lahm and Douglas Costa, alongside the rock-solid goalkeeping of Manuel Neuer, with the physical Robert Lewandowski and sneaky Thomas Muller up-front.

Bayern is favourite against Atletico, surprise winner over Barcelona in the last round - but Guardiola will beware, because Diego Simeone's team is almost a cup specialist side. Defending deep, in numbers, Atletico plays a high-risk game of rope-a-dope in the big games, tempting teams into its own half, before breaking at speed through the pace of players like Frenchman Antoine Griezmann. We've also never seen the team concede more than two at home - indeed it's usually none or one, meaning Bayern might have to play safe for a draw in the first leg.

Does this mean we might get an upset? That depends on Atletico, and whether the small squad at Simeone's disposal can once again eke out the maximum needed in order to win. Against Barcelona, we saw the perfect gameplan for suppressing a team of careful possession-builders: there was high-tempo pressing, and then a fast transition to the front. It might not have been pretty to watch at all times, but the home side is also schooled in how to draw, and react to, fouls. This will be a close game.

Best Bets

Atletico Madrid to lead at half time but first leg to end in a draw: 16/1 on BetVictor

Atletico Madrid to lead at half-time, regardless of final result: 27/10 on SportingBet

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