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Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United in the Champions League on Feb 23. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United in the Champions League on Feb 23. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

We have ourselves an intriguing clash in Madrid on Wednesday as Atletico and Manchester United meet at the Wanda Metropolitano, in a match that sees two sides struggling to qualify for next season’s Champions League via strong league finishes.

Prior to their weekend engagement with Levante – which they really should win – Atleti have won only two of their last six games and, more concerningly, they haven’t kept a single clean sheet in that time. Any fan of Atletico will tell you, that’s not like them.

United, meanwhile, are also struggling for consistency and have drawn their last three games in league and cup at the time of writing.

We think this one could be a cagey contest, but that doesn’t mean our expert football tips can’t deliver some great value.

  • Kindly note that all information in this preview, including whether or not the event will take place, is subject to change due to Covid-19.
MarketPrediction
Match Odds and Over/UnderDraw/Under 2.5
bet365
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Draw And Under 2.5 Goals

Despite Atletico games in La Liga featuring plenty of goals in recent weeks, the same can’t be said for their home games in Europe.

Eight of their last ten Champions League games at the Wanda Metropolitano have had under 2.5 goals, while the delicate nature of this tie means we’re likely to be served with a tentative approach from both sides.

As we’ve mentioned, Manchester United have developed a penchant in recent weeks for drawing games, including a 1-1 stalemate with Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, in a match they went on to lose on penalties.

The Red Devils are typically very strong on the road, though, having lost only one of their last ten away games, so if they set up right here, they should be able to come away from this one relatively unscathed.

The hosts will fancy their chances in the second leg at Old Trafford, so a Draw and Under 2.5 goals isn’t the worst result for either side, with the most popular betting sites offering this one out at 3/1.

Atletico Madrid Form, squad news, opinion

It’s been a strange old season for Atletico Madrid, who have been unable to build a meaningful run of form all year.

Their home form hasn’t been all that bad, with just one defeat in eleven home league games, but their away record is shocking for a side of their standards. In 12 games on the road, Atleti have picked up just four victories and that forms a big part of why they sit a whopping 15 points behind city rivals Real Madrid in the table.

And they haven’t been all that convincing in the Champions League either. Diego Simeone’s side suffered three straight defeats to leave them on the brink of elimination, before a 3-1 win at Porto saw them squeeze through to the knockout stages at the expense of the Portoguese outfit and AC Milan.

They’ll need to step their game up here, but in United, they have an opponent who could struggle against Atletico’s tenacious, battling style.

The main fitness concern is that of Antoine Griezmann, but the Frenchman is expected to return from injury in time for Wednesday’s clash.

Manchester United Form, squad news, opinion

Manchester United never seem to do things the easy way, and despite a very favourable run of fixtures in the Premier League, they’ve been unable to take advantage and are still battling for fourth spot.

And even though they topped their Champions League group, they were far from their best. They opened their account for the season with a defeat at Swiss side Young Boys and failed to beat them again when they met in their final group game.

In between that, Cristiano Ronaldo was needed to save the day as the Red Devils recovered from two goals down to beat Atalanta in October, but goals have dried up for CR7 in recent weeks, with the 37-year-old now six games without one, at the time of writing.

But there’s still time for United to get things right. Manager Ralf Rangnick knows that no side around them in the battle for fourth is having all their own way, while a last-16 clash against Atletico Madrid is certainly winnable over two legs. That said, squad harmony is a huge issue that is threatening to derail any chances of success this season.

The only good news is that there’s no major fitness issues, with the only first-team absentees being Edinson Cavani (groin) and Nemanja Matic (shin) at present.

History

This will be the third time these two have faced each other, but the first and second occasions took place more than 30 years ago in the Cup Winners Cup.

Atletico were 3-0 victors in the first leg, before a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford a few weeks later.

About the Venue

The Wanda Metropolitano is one of the newest stadiums in the Champions League and is amongst the very best when it comes to aesthetics and atmosphere.

Atletico moved into the 68,000-seater stadium in the 2017-18 season and haven’t made a habit of losing there in the five years since.

Conclusion

It’s difficult to predict who will come through this one over two legs, but we are expecting a closely fought affair over the whole 180 minutes.

There won’t be much in the first leg, with both sides probably happy to take the tie to Old Trafford for a second-leg shootout.

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