Dutch footballing hero, Johan Cruyff, is "not optimistic" about PSV Eindhoven's chances if they give Atletico an inch on Wednesday night in the last-16 first leg tie at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. While Cruyff was not entirely complimentary in his assessment of Atletico as a football side, he noted their ability to play physical, committed football.
Atletico Madrid might not be the best opponent, but they are the most difficult one, PSV will be in trouble if they turn it into a physical contest. They have to be one step ahead of Atleti in order to prevent that from happening. Atletico play like the fans want them to play. It's not technical and attacking football like Barcelona and Real Madrid, but all about giving 200 per cent. PSV will have to be on top of things right from the start, because Atletico will definitely be focused from the first whistle. They defend with their entire team and attack will 11 players as well. They will punish any small mistake. I am not optimistic about PSV's chances if they give Atletico any space in midfield.
Atletico's defending has been second to none in Europe this year with Jan Oblak conceding just three goals in six matches in the Champions League. He has recorded four clean sheets in those six games and his record in La Liga is similarly impressive having conceded just 11 goals in 25 games.
Atletico have the services of Augusto Fernandez back in their midfield to add an extra dimension to the centre of their team and will most likely set out to frustrate PSV in the opening leg of the tie on Wednesday night.