Bayern Munich launch the defence of their Champions League trophy with a tough home fixture against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday evening.
Bayern have been on a fairytale run this calendar year. They won the treble and followed it up with the DFL Supercup and the UEFA Supercup. The Champions League was where they reserved their best performances as they won all 11 of their matches en route to winning it.
As a result of these many matches they played, they’ve had a considerably shorter period to recuperate in the off-season and there have been some tell-tale signs of the fatigue starting to catch up with them. Most notable was the 4-1 loss at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
Although the defence is a concern, the offence is not really an issue. Their top marksman Robert Lewandowski has not lost a beat. Hansi Flick will be counting on him to get them off to a perfect start.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid has been one of the top-performing teams in this competition and they were left with a bitter taste in their mouth after exiting at the hands of relative greenhorns RB Leipzig at the quarter-finals. This was after they had claimed the biggest scalp of the previous round, knocking out holders Liverpool after two intriguing knockout legs.
Los Colchoneros have had a less hectic fixture schedule but they haven’t really impressed. They’ve been held by Huesca and Villarreal despite kicking the season off in style with a spectacular 6-1 win over Granada.
They had a quiet transfer window that saw them parting ways with some of their big-name players that failed to adapt to Simeone’s style. They bought in former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez to replace Alvaro Morata and he has adjusted well with three goals and an assist from four appearances.
Even though Atletico hasn’t quite lit up La Liga like it seemed they would after the opening day 6-1 win against Granada, they have looked more like themselves in the following three matches in which they kept clean sheets. Jan Oblak has enhanced his reputation as one of the best keepers in the game with fine performances for Atleti in those games. Simeone knows he is up against the juggernaut from Bavaria and he will do what he does best – set up to defend resolutely and hit on the counter whenever opportunities arise. He has perfected this art, particularly against top teams. We certainly think Bayern have what it takes to win. We, however, expect a tight and cagey affair with little opportunities either way and we are backing Under 3.5 goals @ 1.52 with Betway as our first betting tip.
Bayern will certainly have the lion’s share of the possession in the game as they try to breach the Atleti wall. Atletico Madrid play a physical game and if Bayern pile up the pressure as we expect they will, Atleti will likely find themselves in a lot of compromising situations and their physicality could earn them a few bookings. Betway betting app have offered an odd of 1.59 for Atleti to “win” the 1X2 booking market and we feel it’s good value for our final tip for this clash.
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