Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano is the venue as Atletico Madrid and Manchester United go head-to-head in the first leg of their mouth-watering UEFA Champions League last-16 tie.
Atletico Madrid’s overwhelming 3-0 win over Osasuna at the weekend relieved some pressure off Diego Simeone’s shoulders amid speculation surrounding his future in the Spanish capital. Since their La Liga title defence is already dead in the water, lifting the Champions League crown could be the only saving grace for ‘Los Rojiblancos.’ The Spaniards boast a solid overall two-legged tie record against Premier League clubs, having won nine of their 12 such engagements so far. But ‘Los Colchoneros’ have suffered four consecutive defeats to English sides ahead of this encounter, including a brace of high-scoring defeats to Liverpool in this season’s Champions League group stages. A 3-2 loss to the ‘Reds’ on Matchday 3 marked Atletico’s only second reverse in 15 home meetings with Premier League visitors (W8, D5).
Meanwhile, Manchester United have lifted the spirits in the build-up to this trip, winning back-to-back Premier League matches by an aggregate score of 6-2. Excluding penalties, the ‘Red Devils’ are now unbeaten in their last nine outings across all competitions (W5, D4) despite keeping just two clean sheets in that period. Worryingly, though, the three-time European champions had lost three consecutive away matches in the Champions League before holding Atalanta to a 2-2 draw on Matchday 4. A brace of group victories over Villarreal made it seven successive European meetings with Spanish opposition without losing for Man United (W5, D2) as they look to balance their overall two-legged knock-out ties record against La Liga clubs, currently reading W8, L9. However, to boost their chances of overcoming Atletico, the Old Trafford outfit will have to defy their underwhelming European record away to Spanish sides, having won just 21% of their such fixtures (W6, D11, L12).