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Atletico Madrid v Juventus betting tips: Can Ronaldo and co get past Diego’s defence?

Richard Marsh | 20 February 2019

Preview and odds for Champions League clash

The Champions League continues with another pair of crackers tonight, including Atletico Madrid v Juventus at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Between them, this pair have reached four of the last five finals. So they know a thing or two about knockout football.

But who steals the first leg advantage? Juve boast the Champions League’s record goalscorer in Cristiano Ronaldo, but Diego Simeone coaches arguably the toughest defence in Europe.

It should be a thrilling contest, and it kicks off at 8:00pm, live on BT Sport 3…

Head-to-head

With such European pedigree between them, it’s no surprise Atletico and Juve have met in the Champions League before.

The pair were group stage rivals in the 2014-15 season, with Atleti prevailing 1-0 at their old Vicente Calderon home, before a 0-0 draw in Turin.

Formwise, Simeone’s men come into this one with two defeats in their last three games, including a humbling 3-1 home loss to city Rivals Real.

Juve have faired slightly better, winning two and drawing one of their last three, netting nine goals in the process.

Likely XIs

The big story tonight is that Paulo Dybala will start alongside Ronaldo. Juve boss Max Allegri has struggled to fit both strikers into his system this season.

Both men are set to start on the flanks, either side of Mario Mandzukic.  Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi and Miralem Pjanic will run a midfield trio, with legendary duo Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci forming the centre-half pairing.

With Diego Costa still nursing a foot injury, Simeone is likely to pair Alvaro Morata alongside Antoine Griezmann.

Simeone can opt for wide men in Thomas Lemar and Angel Correa, or he can opt to pack out the midfield with Koke, Thomas Partey and Saul Niguez.

Key battles

Chances could be at a premium tonight. Both sides boast exemplary defences, and both managers will be desperate to avoid any defensive mistakes.

Griezmann and Morata will have a job to get in behind Chiellini and Bonucci, while Diego Godin will be more than a match for Mario Mandzukic.

Juve will look to pin the ball up to Manzdukic, who will then link-up with Ronaldo and Dybala. It means whoever Simeone puts in central midfield will have to keep their wits about them.

Match odds

Our traders really aren’t sure about this one. But despite being the away side, Juve edge favouritism at 17/10.

Atleti are thus deemed slight outsiders at 9/5, while the draw is shorter than you’d usually see at 15/8.

Ronaldo is 7/2 favourite to bag the opener tonight, ahead of Griezmann at 4/1. There’s 13/2 about Morata breaking the deadlock, with Costa at 7s alongside Dybala and Mandzukic.

But this could be a showcase between two defensive powerhouses. And after last night’s pair of 0-0s, there’s 11/2 about another stalemate tonight.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing