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What is Atlético's best XI against PSV?

Will Diego Simeone spring any surprises with his team Wednesday?

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

You may or may not have heard, but Atlético Madrid have a pretty big game tonight. The lads are in Eindhoven, awaiting kickoff of their Champions League Round of 16 tie against PSV. Atleti are heavy favorites to progress to the quarterfinals for the third year running, but will need to be wary of the high-flying Dutch champions regardless. If last year's thrilling tie against Bayer Leverkusen taught Simeone's team anything, it is not take anyone for granted in the Champions League knockout stages.

The Champions League is Atlético's primary objective, it is the team's best chance at a trophy this season. Therefore, the first leg against PSV is crucial and will be treated as a final - a scenario in which Atleti tend to play at their best. The way I see it, Simeone's XI should follow accordingly, and it could be a very strong side which takes the pitch at Philips Stadion.

Jan Oblak, GK

Miguel Ángel Moyà was given a shot at Copa keeper, but his dreadful performance in the second leg against Celta Vigo probably ends his season. Oblak started each group stage game and it would be a major shock to see him benched against PSV.

Juanfran, RB

One of the stalwarts. Should be a pretty fascinating battle between him and PSV left back Jetro Willems.

Diego Godín, CB


Stefan Savic, CB

I know José Giménez is fully fit and suspension-free, but Savic was outstanding against Villarreal and Atleti have barely conceded when the Montenegrin has played. It's more important to keep a clean sheet in the home leg, but Cholo shouldn't be thinking that far ahead (I'd start the return leg, too).

Filipe Luís, LB

Not in the best form of his life in terms of attacking, but cleaning up defensively will be important against a side as good in attack as PSV.

Gabi, RM

Gabi will soon feature less in these big games - possibly as soon as next season - but even though his ability has declined somewhat, his experience and leadership are invaluable to the side. The captain will start and give everything for the side, as usual.

Koke, CM

His set pieces need to be better. Otherwise, we know Koke functions best in a pseudo-attacking role through the middle.

Saúl Ñíguez, CM

This is a no-brainer considering his recent form. I get a weird feeling he'll score or play a big role in setting one up in the Netherlands; remember, he scored twice in the group stage.

Ángel Correa, LM

Normally not as comfortable out wide, Correa stepped in for the felled Yannick Carrasco and performed admirably against Villarreal. Should be given another chance to display his full bag of tricks, maybe even slot as a third forward.

Antoine Griezmann, FW

Must have a big game. Griezmann has struggled for weeks now and needs to add to his haul of four Champions League goals - or leave an indelible mark on this first leg some other way.

Luciano Vietto, FW

If Fernando Torres had scored again at the weekend, I have no doubt he'd be starting alongside Griezmann. However, he didn't score, and he played all 90 minutes. Vietto's group stage performances were better too, and that of course included a goal and an assist in the group-clinching win at Benfica. For me, Griezmann and Vietto is still Atlético's most pacey and creative forward pairing, and if PSV are to have the ball and attack for somewhat long spells of game time, spontaneity and trickery will be important on counterattacks.

How do you think Atleti should line up tonight? What changes would you make? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter. Aúpa!