Atletico Madrid welcome German giants Bayern Munich to the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday in an epic repeat of their semi-final last season.
Atletico have struggled to attack as a cohesive unit at times this season but remain unbeaten in all competitions. The side’s famous defence is looking sturdier than ever as they have conceded just twice from seven matches this season, while manager Diego Simeone has suggested veteran striker Fernando Torres could start. Tiago Mendes and Alessio Cerci have been ruled out for the clash while influential pairing Augusto Fernandez and Jose Gimenez are also missing, posing the side a more significant problem.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern have started the season in emphatic fashion and are currently on an eight-game winning streak. The side have conceded just once while they have also excelled offensively having hit five or more goals on three occasions. Bayern will be hungry to avenge their away-goals loss to the Spanish side in Europe last season and are close to full strength, with Matz Hummels looking to have recovered from a knock while Douglas Costa remains sidelined by a hamstring problem.
Simeone was full of praise for his counterpart ahead of the game
‘I have great respect for Ancelotti as a person and what he’s achieved,’ he told Uefa’s official website. ‘I knew him as a player when I was young and he was a bit older. He’s a calm character. There’s no right way to be: people live games how they see fit and that’s what we do.’
‘I knew him as a player when I was young and he was a bit older. He’s a calm character. There’s no right way to be: people live games how they see fit and that’s what we do.’
Ancelotti, meanwhile, was quick to point out that he knows what to expect from Atletico, but that the match poses a significant obstacle to his side.
‘Playing Atlético is always difficult,’ he said. ‘It will be a hard game; they’re always well organised. We’re in good form and we need to show it. Everyone knows Atlético’s style.’
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Arsenal will be looking for no less than maximum points when they welcome Swiss outfit Basel. Meanwhile, Manchester City will travel to Scotland where they take on a Scottish League leaders Celtic.
Complete Wednesday Fixtures
Ludogorets vs PSG
Celtic vs Manchester City
Napoli vs Benfica
Rostov vs PSV Eindhoven
Arsenal vs Basel
Besiktas vs Dynamo Kyiv
Atletico Madrid vs Bayern Munich
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Barcelona
All the games kick-off at 20:45