Two wins from two have Atlético Madrid in a prime position to qualify for the Champions League’s last 16, and Diego Simeone’s side can take another step toward qualification Tuesday evening.
Simeone has faced criticism ahead of Bayer Leverkusen’s visit, as his team could not hold onto a 1-0 lead in a draw against Valencia on Saturday.
“To always defend a 1-0 lead is complicated,” Simeone said Monday. “If it’s hard for us to get out (of our final third), the draw is there. The other day, a great goal came and we left with a draw.
“The first half was very good, and if we had been able to convert (our chances) the result would have been something else.”
In addition to the result, João Félix suffered a bad ankle sprain that is expected to keep him out for around a month, so the Rojiblancos will be without one of their brightest talents when they welcome Leverkusen. Atlético are already at 83 percent to make the knockouts — another win here would boost those odds.
The Bundesliga side’s danger man is wunderkind Kai Havertz, and several players from the last meeting with Atlético in 2017 still remain under Peter Bosz’s management. Leon Bailey (hamstring injury) and fullback Wendell (torn thigh muscle) are set to miss out.
[ ] CONVOCATORIA— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) October 21, 2019
¡Descubre los futbolistas que conforman la lista de @Simeone para el #AtletiB04!
⚪ #AúpaAtleti pic.twitter.com/0EholHRMRs
Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Giménez, Hermoso; Herrera, Thomas, Saúl; Koke; Costa, Correa
1-1. Simply cannot bet on Atlético winning at home right now — at least until the team actually does it. Atleti have not claimed victory at A Stadium Called Wanda since the first day of September and just two days ago blew that lead to visiting Valencia. Leverkusen are in a critical time and aren’t that bad away from home, at least domestically — two wins and two losses, though that second loss came on Friday, 3-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Jeremy’s record on the season: 7-4
How to watch
Date: Oct. 22, 2019
Location: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time: 6:55 p.m. CET, 5:55 p.m. GMT, 12:55 p.m. EST, 9:55 a.m. PST
Available TV/streaming: Movistar Liga de Campeones 1 (Spain), BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom), TNT, B/R Live (United States), DAZN (Germany), Sky Calcio 2 (Italy), FOX Sports 2, FOX Play Sur (Uruguay), Vidio (Indonesia), CCTV-5 (China)