In Group D of the Champions League, Atletico Madrid will face Bayer Leverkusen in Tuesday’s own Wanda Metropolitano. With a win, the Spaniards take a huge step towards hibernation in the European champions ball with seven points from three group matches, while the still scoreless Germans are fighting for their very last chance.
With four points from the first two group matches, Atletico Madrid can look back on a great start to a new season in the Champions League. After the hard-fought 2-2 draw at home against Juventus, the Spaniards booked a great 0-2 victory over Lokomotiv Moscow three weeks ago. In the upcoming two group matches, coach Diego Simeone’s men can secure their ticket for the knockout phase, because if they manage to win both duels against Bayer Leverkusen, they are almost certain of a top two ranking with ten points.
However, Atletico Madrid is by no means convincing with only one win in the last six league matches. Also last weekend, the red and white did not get any further than a disappointing 1-1 draw. The big problem is the lack of scoring ability, because goalkeeper Jan Oblak is again in top form this year with no fewer than five clean sheets in his last six gigs. To make matters worse, Joao Felix had to be sidelined last weekend, and will be sidelined for at least two weeks. Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata will therefore probably be the Madrid vanguard on Tuesday evening, but neither of them are notorious goalgetters.
For Bayer Leverkusen, the trip to the Wanda Metropolitano is the last straw to make something of this Champions League adventure. The Germans were left at home against Lokomotiv Moscow (1-2) and visiting Juventus (3-0) empty-handed, and therefore still face the hateful zero after two group duels.
Trainer Peter Bosz has a very talented selection at Bayer Leverkusen with, among others, Nadiem Amiri and of course Kai Havertz, which he lets attractive football play. That Werkself likes to play on the attack, but at the same time wants to get stuck. That happened in the first group match at home against Dinamo Moscow, and that happened again last weekend visiting Eintracht Frankfurt. The visitors had a whopping 65 percent possession of the ball and also had the most goal attempts. The best chances, however, were for Eintracht Frankfurt, which therefore earned a well-deserved win. Bosz would probably do well to make his team a bit less reckless to attack, although he is not exactly the type of trainer who makes concessions to his philosophy.