Atletico Madrid welcome Manchester United to the Wanda Metropolitano tomorrow evening in a Champions League last 16 clash that’s impossible to call. Neither side are in a good moment although both are most certainly traditional heavyweights.
Atletico, despite their status as La Liga’s defending champions, are currently fifth in the league table although they’re level on points with fourth-placed Barcelona. They’re 15 points behind pace-setting neighbours Real Madrid. Their last game at home saw them lose 1-0 to bottom-placed Levante although they did bounce back to beat Osasuna 3-0 at the weekend.
United are in a similar position in the Premier League. They’re fourth in the league table, four points clear of fifth-placed West Ham United but four behind third-placed Chelsea and a whopping 17 off league leaders and city rivals Manchester City.
The presence of Cristiano Ronaldo in United’s frontline is bound to cause intrigue. The Portuguese returned to Old Trafford during the summer after over a decade away and has traditionally held the Indian sign over Atletico. They’re one of his favourite foes.
“We know how Cristiano is,” Angel Correa said pre-match to Marca. “He’s already done a lot of damage to us in previous times that we faced each other. But you can’t just look at Cristiano; you have to look at the entire team. They’re a great side and we’re going to have to make a serious effort to beat them.”