Atlético Madrid v. Juventus Champions League Game
This is part of our Champions League coverage, as always, there’s more on our Champions League page!
The goal difference runner up of Group A will face off against the winner of Group H. Both of these teams were in tight battles for their groups and they will look to continue that form. The first leg of the matchup will be played at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, home of Atlético.
Atlético seems to get less respect than the other major players (like Real Madrid and Barcelona) in La Liga, but it’s a little shocking really. They are a major player in Spanish soccer with 10 first division titles to their credit and an additional 9 finishing in second place. I’m addition to success in the domestic league, they’ve also won the Copa del Rey 10 more times — with 9 more runners up. Although they’ve yet to bring home Champions League hardware, they’ve several 2nd place finishes and have won the Europa League on three separate occasions.
Atlético continue to work towards consolidating their hold on second. They trail Barcelona by 5 points through 21 games and lead the third-placed Real Madrid by 5 points as well. Atlético has seen a sight downturn in their form on the road and this has resulted in 4th place away form in contrast to their league leading home form. They have a great goal differential of +19 after conceding only 13 goals so far as opposed to the 32 they’ve scored. They’ve been in scintillating form at home averaging 1.7 goals scored per game while conceding 0.36 goals per game. For anyone keeping track at home, that’s a total of 4 goals allowed in 11 games at home.
Atlético have mirrored their domestic league form (especially at home)so far in the Champions League. They are averaging 2.33 goals scored per game and are conceding only 0.33 in route to a full compliment of the 9 possible points. However, they only managed 4 additional points in their 3 away games which was ultimately the difference between winning the group and being runners up.
Juventus is one of the winningest clubs on any stage. They’ve particular dominated in Italy where they’ve amassed 34 league titles, the Italian Cup 13 times and two Champions League titles. Their future looks as bright as ever after Cristiano Ronaldo’s acquisition from Real Madrid. Juventus paid a transfer fee of around £90 million (about $120M) to bring the 33-year old Ronaldo to the club. The club announced that nearly $78M in jersey sales was reported within 24 hours of the transfer becoming official.
So for in the domestic competition, Juventus has been a runaway leader. They’ve only drawn 2 games and have won the 18 other, totaling 56 points and a nine point lead over the next best club. They are 22 points ahead of the fourth and final Champions League qualifying place that is held by AC Milan. Overall they have a +30 goal differential and have been very consistent both at home and away with almost no difference based on where they play. On the season they are averaging barely over 2 goals per game and concessions of 0.5 goals per game.
Consistent with their domestic form, in the Champions League, Juventus garnered 6 points from each home and away. The goal scoring numbers are slightly different with 2 goals scored per game and their concession rate increasing slightly to 1 per game. However, Juventus’ losses are of the somewhat disappointing variety — starting with a defeat to Jose Mourinho led Manchester United at home 2-1. The second was an away loss to first time Champions League participants from Switzerland, Young Boys.
What to expect
Atlético have been much better at home and will really want to play for a win here. Juventus hasn’t been the model of consistency (although Ronaldo was banned for one after picking up a red card) either, so both teams will want to go hard in this first leg. I think this game is going to be wide open between as a result of both teams fighting for the win. Atlético’s goals against record at home is frankly, incredible, but I think that Ronaldo will get one past the Atleti. That said, I think Atletico will take the result away from this leg, even if by sheer willpower.
Last Updated: January 27, 2019