Bayern Munich have won their last FIFTEEN Champions League games but Atletico Madrid are in desperate need of a win to secure safe passage to the knockouts… so just how can they stop Hansi Flick’s winning machine?
- Bayern Munich face Atletico Madrid in the biggest tie of the night on Tuesday
- Bayern have, incredibly, won each of their last 15 games in the competition
- Atletico Madrid need a result as they fight to go through to the knockout stages
- We take a look at what Diego Simeone needs to do to stop the Bayern juggernaut
Tuesday night’s Champions League fixture list is headlined by a mouthwatering tie between two of European football’s heavyweights.
Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are two sides used to seeing the latter stages of the competition, but while the former are firing on all cylinders this season, Atletico are in need of some more points to secure their spot in the knockout rounds.
As it stands, Diego Simeone’s side are second but a defeat against an all-star Bayern could leave them third behind Lokomotiv Moscow heading into the final matchday if results don’t go their way.
So just how do you stop Hansi Flick’s juggernaut, with the team having won each of their last FIFTEEN matches in the Champions League? Here, Sportsmail takes a look at what Simone needs to do to take all three points…
Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich are on an incredible 15-game winning streak in Champions League
They haven’t been beaten since March, and have since lifted the famous trophy in Lisbon
There is no better time to face Bayern than now, with Hansi Flick opting to rest a whole host of his big names having already secured their place in the knockout stages as group winners.
Lewandowski has scored 12 in eight Bundesliga games, and three Champions League goals on top of that, but he’s been left at home, giving Atletico a dream opportunity to secure a result.
With their star man off the pitch, there will be no focal point for the team as there usually is, and Bayern won’t be able to rely on his *many* goals.
On top of that, there’s no Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso, while Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich will also not be present in Madrid. That, in itself, is a present for Madrid.
Robert Lewandowski has been left at home, giving Atletico a brilliant chance to win the game
Europe’s deadliest striker already has 12 Bundesliga goals in eight games and will be missed
Take advantage of Bayern’s defence
Interestingly, Bayern Munich have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last seven games. In the Champions League in recent weeks, they’ve let in goals home and away against Salzburg and also Lokomotiv Moscow.
So, despite their incredible attacking threat, there are holes at the back and if Atletico can exploit them then they may just have a chance of getting a result.
On top of that, as previously mentioned, there will be some big names absent on Tuesday night, with a change in goal and in a number of the defensive positions.
Alexander Nubel is set to make his first European appearance in the game, while no Davies and Kimmich also mean there will be other changes to the back-line.
Niklas Sule and David Alaba are the likely centre backs, with Lucas Hernandez at left back and Benjamin Pavard on the right.
Manuel Neuer will not be between the sticks for Bayern either, which is a huge boost for Atleti
Bayern’s defence do concede goals, and Diego Simeone’s side need to make the most of that
Get Luis Suarez on the pitch and firing
While Bayern will be without their talisman, there is a chance that Atletico could welcome theirs back after he missed three games following a positive coronavirus test.
We are, of course, talking about Luis Suarez, who arrived at Atletico in the summer and has made a huge difference to their attack. Last season, Atletico’s detractors pointed at their lack of goals as the reason why they were falling short in LaLiga, but he has revitalised their attacking threat and the goals are now free-flowing.
Suarez has had to sit out the past few weeks, but Simeone admitted in his press conference that there is a chance he will be able to line up on Tuesday night. It’s not a definite, but it would be a huge boost if they could count on the Uruguayan in what is likely to be the biggest game of their season so far.
In the campaign to date, Suarez has five goals in six LaLiga games, and he is still waiting for his first European strike in Atletico colours… perhaps tonight could be the night?
Star striker Luis Suarez has missed the last few games after testing positive for coronavirus
Simone admitted that Suarez could yet feature in his plans for the Bayern game on Tuesday
Banish the demons of October
There will be plenty in the Atletico dressing room ahead of tonight’s game that will be looking back at the last time they faced Bayern with trepidation.
Back in October, the Spaniards were on the end of a 4-0 drubbing in Bavaria, with the result demonstrating the huge gulf in class between the sides.
Atletico have enjoyed a decent run of results since then, and will take solace from Bayern stumbling a couple of times, with a draw against Werder Bremen and a fair few goals going past Manuel Neuer.
That said, if they are to get a win or a draw, Atletico will need to rid their minds of all that has come before, and forget October 21. This is a new game, a fresh start, and a brilliant opportunity to confirm their spot in the last 16.
Bayern ran riot against Atletico back in October, beating the Spaniards 4-0 and with ease
Kingsley Coman slots the fourth goal past Jan Oblak in the Atletico goal at the Allianz Arena
Use the LaLiga positivity
If there’s any time to face the best team in Europe, it’s off the back of a hard-fought away victory that sent you top of your domestic league.
Atletico have to use their positive recent form from LaLiga to take the game to Bayern and believe that their squad is good enough to take a point, or more, from the European champions.
Atletico are the only team yet to taste defeat in the Spanish top flight, with their victory over Valencia at the weekend sending them top temporarily, before Real Sociedad leapfrogged them the following day.
That said, they have two games in hand and should they win them, they’ll be five points clear of their nearest rivals and in pole position to win the title for the first time since they performed miracles in 2014.
Atletico’s win away at Valencia at the weekend puts them in a commanding position in LaLiga
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