Atletico Madrid are a far cry from the team which took part in two of last four Champions League finals and Diego Simeone’s men are backed against the wall with their faith in Europe’s elite competition hanging on the ropes ahead of AS Roma visit.
What’s going on with Atletico Madrid?
The passion is still there, at least as far as head coach Diego Simeone is concerned. The temperamental tactician is still regularly seen jumping up and down the touchline but his team simply appears not to be matching his own intensity and desire.
Seven draws and only two wins in their last nine matches across all competitions is a record unworthy of the Atletico Madrid we all know and respect and Diego Simeone is well aware that there is something rotten in his team. Supporters tend to point their finger towards the team’s biggest star Antoine Griezmann and his poor stretch of form, but the Frenchman can hardly be the only one to blame for the lack of goals and lack of wins. Atletico Madrid head into a crucial Champions League match against AS Roma on the back of a frustrating goalless stalemate against city rivals Real Madrid. Los Colchineros were not the better side of the two and can count themselves lucky to run away with a point, although the game could have gone either way. Simeone’s men need an instant display of character and mental strength if they want to prolong their season in the Champions League. Four points behind second-placed Chelsea and five adrift of their next rivals AS Roma, Atletico Madrid should not keep their hopes to high, however.
Diego Simeone will not have any selection issues but could opt to make a couple of changes to his starting line-up. Belgium star Yannick Carrasco is back to full fitness and is expected to be given a starting berth after an inspiring display against Real Madrid.
AS Roma Leading the Way
Serie A powerhouse AS Roma are yet to be beaten in Group C and will surely look to maintain the positive record when they visit impressive Wanda Metropolitano stadium this week.
Giallorossi have dispayed an impressive run of form in arguably the strongest Champions League group and look dead set for a place in the knockouts. The Italian recovered from that mouth-watering 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge with a compelling 3-0 victory over Premier League champions in the return game towards the end of October. Heading into the Wednesday’s clash, AS Roma will be highly motivated to continue the positive streak of results which saw them win last six matches in all competitions, including the highly-anticipated Derby della Capitale against Lazio last time out. Goals from Perotti and Nainggolan were enough for Giallorossi to dispatch the in-form city rivals and to head into this week’s clash with their heads held up high.
Summer recruits Rick Karsdorp and Patrik Schick remain the only two absentees for the Atletico Madrid clash.
AS Roma have been on a superb run of late and will be extremely keen to record their seventh triumph on the trot. Atletico Madrid, on their own part, are going through a difficult period and will be happy to get anything positive out of the match against in-form Italians.
Top pick: Draw 3.50 (5/2) @Bet365
Alternative pick 1: Under 2.5 goals 1.96 (22/23) @888sport
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – No 1.80 (4/5) @Unibet