It may not have been the most thrilling of first legs but Manchester City claimed control of their Champions League quarter final with a 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium last week. The question going into this game is whether Atletico Madrid can offer the attacking thrust on home soil needed to test Ederson.
Certainly Diego Simeone’s side are heavy underdogs in a battle between the champions of Spain and England but such a rule tends to suit the Atleti manager and his players. Meanwhile Pep Guardiola is not always the most comfortable of favorites. Might the Champions League have one more upset left in these quarter finals? Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
Date: Wednesday, April 13 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Wanda Metropolitana — Madrid
TV/Live stream: Paramount+
Odds: Manchester City -700; Draw +650; Sporting +1800 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Atlético Madrid vs. Manchester City
Atletico Madrid: Simeone’s side became the first in 10 years of Champions League history to not muster so much as a shot on their opponent’s goal last time out, and had it not been for an excellent display by their back five the margin of defeat could have been heavier than just one goal. Still, there were flashes of Antoine Griezmann-led counters that did not quite pay off, moments that might have gone a different way but for a better final ball.
Perhaps it is not such a surprise that Simeone intends to approach the second leg in much the same way he did the first. “I am not going to get far away from what we believe in,” he said. “Hopefully we can combine better; have better, faster transitions; be more precise in our counterattacks; that our most significant players can have a fantastic night. We will try to take the game to where we think we can hurt them. In a football match, anything can happen.”
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Manchester City: This second leg always looked challenging for City not just due to the match itself but what surrounded it, two games against Liverpool that it would be only natural to be distracted by. After Sunday’s thrilling, gruelling and ultimately (for Guardiola’s side) disappointing 2-2 draw with their Premier League rivals it seems possible that their trip to Madrid will become something of an afterthought.
“If you don’t enjoy playing football in a month like this then you are never going to enjoy football,” said Kyle Walker. Coming up against the best opponents [on Sunday] and then facing a tough test on Wednesday against Atletico Madrid where it is a little bit more tactical. Then we face Liverpool again in the FA Cup. It is a fantastic week to be involved in football.”
It took an exceptional defensive display to keep City to one goal last week. Expect Atletico to open up in pursuit of the goal they need… and to pay the price for doing so. PICK: Atletico 1 City 2