Athletico Madrid vs Barcelona 04/09/2014 Free UEFA Champions League Soccer Pick and Preview
Barcelona vs Athletico Madrid
Wednesday 9th April 2014 19:45(GMT)
The Line: Athletico Madrid 9/4 Draw 9/4 Barcelona 5/4 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky Sports; Fox Sports;
One of the games of the week will see Athletico Madrid host Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League quarter final. Diego Simeone's team came away from the Nou Camp with a very credible 1-1 draw, coming back to the Vincent Cauldron stadium with an away goal was vital and that goal was achieved by a superb Diego strike. The Brazilian had replaced the injured Diego Costa in the first half and was inspirational throughout the game. There is no doubt that Diego Costa will be missed on Wednesday as Atheltico's top scorer but with David Villa, Koke, Turan and Diego there is enough talent in this Athletico squad to carry the game to Barcelona if needs be. I do think though that Simeone may set his team up defensively and look to play on the counter.
Barcelona dominated possession in the first leg of the tie but did not create all that many clear cuts chances. Lionel Messi was well marshalled and did not get many chances in the first leg, a testament to Simeone's gameplan. Neymar and Iniesta combined well for the goal but for the majority of the game both were periferal figures. Barcelona will again be expected to dominate possession on Wednesday night and with Athletico scoring in the first leg Barcelona know that they must find the net on Wedensday.
Athletico Madrid are unbeaten at home this season in La Liga and the Champions League. Madrid have won all four of their home games in the Champions League and drew 0-0 with Barcelona in the La Liga game they played in January. The same result on Wednesday night would be enough to get Athletico through to the semi finals and I just cant help but feel that this Athletico team is ready to take its place at the top of European football. This Barcelona team is far from finished but I think Athletico may just have their number right now. Take Athletico +1 on the handicap. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo