Leicester look to continue their historic run in the Champions League as they come up against a stubborn Atletico side that is always tough to break down
A dream run for Leicester City is about to be interrupted by the nightmare that is Atletico Madrid. The Spanish giants, led by manager Diego Simeone, have a reputation for being well-drilled on the defensive side of the game. Often criticized for being ‘boring’ or ‘plain’, Atletico’s results speak for themselves. Currently in third in La Liga, Simeone will press on with the same system against Leicester.
With a combined 16 clean sheets between Oblak and Moya, Atletico preach defense and pressure first. Their backline consistently gets praise for their ability to keep their shape and work as a unit.
Filipe Luis and Godin are the two standout players that Leicester will need to be concerned about. Godin is a pure leader that runs the defensive unit of Atletico. Luis, while being a great defender, also has a great amount of ability going forward.
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Another challenge Leicester will face is the pressing that Atletico produce. They swarm the ball, looking to dispossess the attackers quickly and start a counter attack through Griezmann up top. Though this is a similar style the Foxes play, it will be hard to keep up. Leicester look for interceptions in the midfield, often giving the ball to Mahrez or Albrighton, who then looks towards Vardy up top. Atletico will be cautious with the ball going forward, being sure not to give the ball away in precarious positions.
The game will be dictated by Atletico in the first leg, as they are the home side first. Anything but an early goal for Leicester should see the home side sitting back a bit and looking to counter. Both sides play a solid 442 system and often deploy the same players in the same positions. This means that team selection should be relatively easy to guess.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton, Slimani, Vardy
Atletico: Oblak, Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Luis, Koke, Saul, Gabi, Carrasco, Torres, Griezmann
The both sides are coming out of their respective league matches having dropped points, so they will be looking to rebound in a big way. Neither side will need telling of the importance of this match, as a spot in the semi-finals is at stake. The first leg is set to kick off at 2:45pm EST, with Fox Sports 2 set to host the match.