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Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid Preview

Manchester City

A few days after running away from pork pies and beer, Diego Simeone just cannot help himself and returns to Manchester!

It is the final eight teams left in the competition now going hammer and tong, it’s about this time in the season where any cup run that you have managed to keep alive starts to entice you to believe…I can’t wait for this one!

UEFA Champions League: Quarter-Final
Tuesday 5 April
Etihad Stadium

To Win
Manchester City 7/20
Draw 39/10
Atletico Madrid 13/2 

Manchester City

Manchester City have a brilliant squad of players. In terms of their manager, calling him an ‘industry leader’ wouldn’t be an exaggeration and the money which underpins this entire operation is seemingly endless.

On the domestic front, they have blazed through the league and largely dispatched everyone they have come up against (but for a few snags here and there – we are talking about the Premier League after all) and look to be a side capable of adapting their game to suit the situation as they find it.

Their football is silky, and they are amongst the best in the world at creating opportunities. It is here, my good people, that we find the reason I think this encounter will be a brilliant watch.

Manchester City are one of the best teams at unlocking their opposition and exposing any weakness that might be hidden on a football team…Atletico Madrid are one of the best teams at playing the beautiful game in the shadows and graduating suma cum laude from the ‘dark arts society’.

My only concern though is they lack pedigree on the continental stage. I know this might sound like something which belongs more in the realm of superstition, luck or the alignment of the stars – but I think the value of that statement is often underestimated.

Until Manchester City show they can do it on the European stage, it will be the proverbial monkey on their backs which raises questions, builds pressure, and effectively play a role in their performances!

Atletico Madrid

After coming through the tie with Manchester United, Atletico now face the other team from Manchester. Diego Simeone is a master of in-game coaching, and he’s shown it once again in this tournament.

Atletico are not playing a brand of football that will shoot the lights out and steamroll their opposition. They are completely focused on the task at hand – not conceding a goal.

From the highest placed attacking players all the way through to their goalkeeper, this is the message which reigns supreme season after season. And yes, I know this is likely mentioned in every article written about Atleti in every publication around the world – but in my most humble and contrite opinion, it is a beautiful element of football which isn’t celebrated or appreciated enough. Especially when you consider the coaching required and mentality garnered to achieve such an outcome!

Just as City will play their game, you can be just as sure their visitors will be doing the very same. I would suggest that Simeone will play both legs in the fashion we saw at Old Trafford, especially since the second leg will be played at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Simeone’s chargers have conceded just twice from their last five games and are subsequently unbeaten going into the round of fixtures leading to the Champions League round. Confidence will be up and comfortability in Manchester will certainly not be a point of concern…

Prediction: First Half: Draw (14/10)
I think City will win this game, and with all due respect they should qualify from the tie. They have a superior squad and are playing their model of football at a level much higher to their Spanish visitors.

Atletico have gone on a good run of results, but they admittedly come up against the best squad in the competition. However, 7/20 about the home win is too short for me. I think the game will be a little grittier and more uncomfortable – at least in the first 45 minutes…so I’m going to back a draw in the first half at 14/10.

Written by Ryan Liberty