Atletico Madrid open up as favorites over a young and inexperienced PSV, when they meet in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, this Wednesday at the PSV Station, in Netherlands at 19:45.
In recent years, Atletico have become one of the top teams in Europe, and that had to do with the fact that their manager is one of the best world’s tacticians. They don’t allow silly goals and play their defensive part to the perfection.
“Simeone is bringing success back to Atlético. You can see his character as a player reflected in his team – I applaud that. They have a clear style of play. Would I settle for a 0-0 draw? Keeping a clean sheet could be very important”, said PSV manager Phillip Cocu.
Atletico won group C, and only allowed three against in six matches. In the Spanish La Liga have given up just 11 in 25 goals; their identity is to be discipline and defend their goal; the rest comes in second place.
“Atlético have a consistent side, they’re a great team unit, they won’t give anything away. They always play the same way – they are winners and they play a compact game despite a busy fixture list. They are a nice example of everybody playing for each other and for the team. You have to be prepared and give your all every”, Cocu added.
PSV are the leaders in the Erevidiese, one point ahead of Ajax. They have scored 65 goals in 24 games; an astonishing 2.5 goals per match in the Dutch league. However, despite they eliminated Manchester United in the group stage, the team had his ups and downs, scoring eight goals and allowing seven in six games.
“PSV are a very good side; only Ajax can keep up with them [in the Netherlands]. This is a different competition, and it will be an intense game played at high speed – the players will have to show plenty of energy. Our aim is to take control of this and to control the match”, said Atletico’s Diego Simeone.
PSV haven’t been at this stage since the 2006/07 season; Atletico got to the final in 2014. The two meetings they had back in 2008 were won by the Spanish side, including a 3-0 victory in Eindhoven.
The PSV v Atletico Madrid Champions League Odds rated the home team as the dogs at 5.0. The visiting squad is at 1.85, and the draw is at 3.5. Atletico are a complicated team to beat but home field will level things out. Bet the draw.