Manchester United will travel to Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday evening to play Atletico Madrid in the opening leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.Embed from Getty Images
Ralf Rangnick’s side comes off the back of a thrilling 4-2 win against Leeds United and have only lost once in their last nine games.
The Red Devils finished top of Group F to advance to the knockout round of the competition with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring six goals in the group stage. He will be keen to add to the 135 he has in the competition.
As for the hosts, they come into Wednesday’s match with a 3-0 win over Osasuna in La Liga, with goals from Joao Felix, Luis Suarez, and Angel Correa, but there is no denying that the Spanish champions have struggled in the league this season.
They finished second in Group B behind Liverpool and surprisingly qualified with just seven points. Correa is their top scorer this season and has 12 goals in all competitions.
Man United team news:
Edinson Cavani has missed both of United’s recent Premier League wins over Leeds and Brighton, and the Uruguayan remains a doubt for the trip to Madrid.
Eric Bailly is expected to be in the squad, as the Ivorian continues his recovery from an ankle injury.Embed from Getty Images
How will Man United line up?
(4-2-3-1) De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho, Ronaldo
Diego Simeone’s side is currently fifth in the table, 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid, so the Champions League is their only realistic chance of silverware this term. They might need to win the competition to secure a position in next season’s leading European cup competition.
Matheus Cunha suffered a knee injury against Levante last week and did not feature in the squad for Saturday’s La Liga win over Osasuna.
The Brazilian remains a doubt for Simeone’s side but Antoine Griezmann, Koke, Thomas Lemar could all return.
These two sides have only met twice in their history with the most recent game dating back to 1991. Atletico Madrid came out 4-1 winners over two legs in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Atletico Madrid: W-L-W-L-W
Man United: W-W-D-D-L
How to watch:
For fans unable to make the trip to Spain, they will be able to watch the game live on BT Sport 2 with kick-off at 8pm.
Despite not being themselves in La Liga this season, Simeone’s side is always a struggle to play against in Europe and will do everything they can to make it difficult for the travelling side.
As for Man United, they have the all-time Champions League top scorer in Ronaldo and he has scored 25 goals against the hosts. United have only lost three away games this season and will be ready for the battle.
We expect a tight encounter with very few goals in it.
Atletico Madrid 1-1 Man United