Kick-off: 20:00, 18/09/2019
Stadium: Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid are looking to settle a score with Juventus after crashing out to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick in last season’s Champions League.
However, prior to that 3-0 defeat in Turin, Los Colchoneros had beaten the Old Lady 2-0 in Spain and home advantage can again prove decisive in this Group D opener. The Spanish side have always had clashes to settle with Juventus. These two football clubs have always been on each other’s neck, and thanks to UEFA will be seeing these rivals in a fierce clash for group leader. We should be expecting a physically tough match between these two.
Diego Simeone’s side can be backed at risk to have maximum point in this game, we all know they have been as rock in metropolitano. Atletico were strong at their imposing Wanda Metropolitano stadium during the pool stage last term, seeing off Borussia Dortmund 2-0, Club Brugge 3-1 and Monaco 2-0. They looked hot favourites to reach the quarter-finals early this year when Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin netted against Juve at the home ground, before the second-leg cometback.
Overall, Los Colchoneros have won nine straight home matches in European competition, with Brugge the only team to score in those games.
There have been some major changes to Simeone’s squad this season, with Antoine Griezmann moving on, alongside the likes of Godin, Lucas Hernandez and Rodri. However, they have added on good replacements, with Joao Felix and Kieran Trippier among those settling in well.
Even if some of the personnel is different, Simeone’s influence will remain steady and that means an athletic and enthusiastic approach is assured.
Disciplined defensive work is another trademark of the Argentine manager and for a home win to nil to be achieved.
Juventus failed to capitalise on that triumph over Atletico, bowing out to Ajax in the next round after drawing 1-1 in Amsterdam but then losing 2-1 at home early this year at the quater finals. That led to a bit of a slump in form from the Bianconeri, but they had enough in hand to claim an eighth straight Serie A title with something to spare as it’s has turned to be their birth-rite
Incoming manager Maurizio Sarri was given several solid recruits to work with over the summer, with Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Danilo all decent additions. Ronaldo will still be the focal point of their forward play, though, and he did have a fine record versus Atletico when playing for city rivals Real, netting 22 times in 31 encounters. This man still has that bossy nature over Atlectico, let’s hope he finds the net in this encounter.
Four goals for Portugal in a 5-1 Euro 2020 rout of Lithuania showed he remains as prolific as ever at the age of 34, but we feel chances will be minimal in this clash, as the defensive power of his opponent looks ever solid.
Head-to-head: Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid, Atletico Madrid 2-0 Juventus, Juventus 0-0 Atletico Madrid, Atletico Madrid 1-0 Juventus