Neither Atlético Madrid nor Bayern Munich will operate at full strength on Tuesday night when the two teams meet again in the UEFA Champions League.
Bayern have won 15 consecutive Champions League games dating back to last season, and the German giants clinched first place in Group A after back-to-back victories over Red Bull Salzburg. As such, coach Hansi Flick will take this opportunity to rest some key players.
Flick has left Leon Goretzka, Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski in Munich, where they will join the injured Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, and Corentin Tolisso in watching this one from home. As if all that isn’t enough, midfielder Marc Roca — who nearly joined Atlético over the summer — is suspended.
Atleti are getting set to play a fourth game in 10 days and cannot field the ineligible Geoffrey Kondogbia. Diego Simeone is waiting to see if Luis Suárez or Lucas Torreira will test negative for COVID-19 before kickoff — either could still be included in the squad. The Argentine is at least certain to welcome back Héctor Herrera, who was injured on Mexico duty over the international break.
“(Suárez) feels good, (he) wants to be with the team,” Simeone said Monday. “The most important thing is that he is well — that he returns to normal, giving a negative test result.
“If he does not play tomorrow, he will play on Saturday (against Valladolid).”
Despite losing heavily in Munich, Atlético have benefitted from Bayern’s group stage superiority. Los Colchoneros have a good chance — an 81 percent chance, per FiveThirtyEight — to progress as runners-up, but at some point they will have to make their own luck in this competition. A Lokomotiv Moscow home win combined with an Atleti draw or loss will see the Russian side move into second place entering the final matchday.
“What matters is scoring goals,” Koke said pre-game. “You can play very well, have possession...but what matters are the goals. The situations are there within each game and hopefully the goals will go in tomorrow.”
“The margin is small after two draws, a defeat and a victory,” Simeone said. “We need to take initiative in the game tomorrow. Whatever the result is from the other game, we have a goal, which is to take the game to where we think we can hurt (Bayern).“
Bayern have won only once across its past eight games in Spain — this run includes two losses to Atlético in 2016. Atleti have won eight and drawn two at home against German teams since 1999. Hannover 96 are the last Bundesliga side to score against Los Colchoneros in Madrid — back on March 29, 2012.
Date Dec. 1, 2020
Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Kickoff time 9:00 p.m. CET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 3:00 p.m. EST, 12:00 p.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog Bavarian Football Works
Available TV/streaming Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), Sky Sport 1 (Germany), BT Sport ESPN (United Kingdom), CBS All Access (United States)
This poll is closed