UEFA Champions League. Group Stage
28.09.16, 20:45 CET
Venue: Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain,
Referee: Szymon Marciniak, Poland
Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich are the favorites of their group and their opponents FC Rostov and PSV do not seem to be able to stop them on their way to the playoffs. However, their absolute advantage over the other two teams does not make their face-to-face matches less interesting. Both of the teams have the objective of heading the group, so that they meet runners-up in the round 16.
In general, these teams are always aiming to reach the final. Moreover, their current managers Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti have recorded some real success in the tournament. Atletico’s Argentinian coach managed to head his team to two UEFA Champions League finals, whereas Carlo Ancelotti has already ,lifted the trophy three times in two different clubs. The game between their teams becomes the first serious clash of the UCL season and the first opportunity to establish a successful start in the tournament.
Atletico Madrid did not have the best start. They kicked off their domestic league with two draws and were residing in the middle of the league table for some time. However, three wins and a draw against Barcelona have placed the team in their usual third place right below Real Madrid and Barcelona. The last game Diego Simeone’s team played was the home clash against Deportivo La Coruna (1-0), in which the Madrid team managed to score once on the 70th minute of the match, keeping a clean sheet. In general, defensive strategy is what keeps Atletico up, however, against Ancelotti’s machine not conceding will be very hard.
Bayern Munich have started the tournament with a phenomenal winning series. All five Bundesliga opening games were won, which has become a record for their new manager. Carlo Ancelotti has set the best start in Bayern Munich history with five wins, 15 scored goals and one conceded. This is truly a mighty start, however, Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga opponents do not have the strong defensive system Simeone is constructing in Atletico Madrid. The Spansh grand will definitely become Ancelotti’s first serious challenge as Bayern head.
The teams have met last season in the semifinals, where Atletico Madrid won at home (1-0) and lost while playing in Allianz Arena (2-1), however, managed to make its way to the final due to their goal scored in the opponent’s venue. Atletico Madrid have gone through only few changes from that point on, whereas Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola left the club to be substituted by Carlo Ancelotti, bringing a whole new style to the team.
By the way, interesting to note that Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich have faced each other four times in the European competitions and the Spanish side have never managed to score more than once in a single game.
Five players of Diego Simeone’s squad will not be available for the Bayern clash. However, only the losses of defender Gimenez and midfielder Tiago can be considered as serious ones. Among the other injured players the second goalkeeper Moya, winger Alessio Cerci and midfielder Augusto Fernandez are listed.
Bayern Munich are close to their optimal condition as Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng are ready to feature in the Champions League clash. Mats Hummels has received a knock during the Bundesliga clash against HSV, which puts his appearing in the starting lineup under a question mark. Centre-back Holger Badstuber and midfielder Douglas Costa are unavailable due to their injuries, but none of them is considered to be Ancelotti’s first choice.
Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich