April 23, 2017

Champions League Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atlético Madrid

Bayer Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid

UEFA Champions League 2016/17

21st February, 19:45 GMT

BayArena, Leverkusen

Live Stream: Watch Bayer Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid live on BT Sport 3

Bayer Leverkusen Team News and Preview

Roger Schmidt’s Bayer Leverkusen host Champions League specialists Atlético Madrid on Tuesday at the BayArena. Leverkusen progressed through the group stage undefeated this season but had only one win at home to show for their impressive record.

Die Werkself’s 2016/17 campaign has been dotted with inconsistency, having won and lost in the league in equal measure. They are 20 points off the Bundesliga summit, but deeper progression in Europe will somewhat restore the feel-good factor at the club.

Javier Hernández has hit form of late, scoring four goals in Leverkusen’s last two games. The young and imposing centre-back Jonathan Tah will miss out through injury, while Hakan Calhanoglu, who had a goal and an assist in the group stage, is banned for the rest of this season. Captain Lars Bender is also an injury concern, having come off early in Leverkusen’s weekend Bundesliga game.

Predicted Bayer Leverkusen Starting Lineup (4-5-1):

Leno, Dragović, Jedvaj, Wendell, Henrichs, Baumgartlinger, Kampl, Aránguiz, Brandt, Bellarabi, Hernández.

Atletico Madrid Team News and Preview

Similar to Leverkusen, Atlético Madrid haven’t quite translated their Champions League form into La Liga. Los Colchoneros won a tough group that included Bayern Munich, but their recent form has been hit and miss. They have won only two of their last seven away matches, drawing five.

The last time the two sides met in the Champions League was in 2015’s round of 16. The Spaniards, who have twice been runners-up in the competition’s last three editions, won on penalties on that occasion after drawing 1-1 on aggregate after two legs.

The big news for Simeone is the return of goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who hasn’t played since December owing to a dislocated shoulder. However, defensive lynchpins Diego Godín and Juanfran are out injured, so are Augusto Fernandez and Tiago.

Predicted Atlético Madrid Starting Lineup (4-4-2):

Oblak, Filipe, Savić, Giménez, Vrsaljko, Koke, Gabi, Saúl, Gaitán, Carrasco, Griezmann.

Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico Madrid Key Stats

  • Both teams have identical scoring records against each other.
  • Leverkusen are undefeated in their last eight Champions League matches.
  • Atlético have drawn four of their last five away games.

Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico Madrid Betting Tips

  • With both teams’ impressive record in the competition this season, a close encounter is on the cards.
  • A win for Atlético is slightly more favourable, but given the two teams’ history against each other, a draw looks more likely.

Use these free sports betting tips to bet on a low-scoring game that yields less than 2.5 goals.

Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico Madrid Prediction

There have been under 2.5 goals in six of Atlético’s last seven Champions League games, and keeping in mind their expertise in navigating tricky European fixtures, a score draw should send Simeone and his men home happy.

Leverkusen haven’t been at their attacking best this season, and should Atlético keep a tight lid on Hernández, scoring could be a problem for Schmidt’s side. That having been said, a 1-1 draw that favours the away side is possible:

Bayer Leverkusen 1 – 1 Atlético Madrid

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