Champions League: Leicester v Atletico Madrid

Leicester v Atletico Madrid

Wednesday April 19, 4:45am AEST


Leicester

The reigning Premier League champions were well beaten in the first-leg of this quarter-final tie, but nevertheless emerged with a result that gives them hope.

Though Atletico were the better team and in control of the match, they could only beat Leicester 1-0. There remains then the possibility of another chapter being written in the Leicester fairytale, yet there is a stronger sense that reality is about to bring the story to a close.

After a bright start, Craig Shakespeare is struggling to get results as he juggles his squad amidst fixture congestion. It’s been three games without a win now, with an under-strength Leicester side drawing at Crystal Palace at the weekend, despite having held a 2-0 lead.

Yohan Benaloune picked up a knock during the match with Palace, which will be a worry for Shakespeare considering that the central defender is currently deputising for the injured Wes Morgan. In addition, Islam Slimani was missing at the weekend after picking up an injury in training.


Atletico Madrid

The win over Leicester stretched Atletico’s unbeaten run to nine games, which they extended to ten at the weekend with a 3-0 win over Osasuna.

The worry for Leicester will be that Atletico’s clean sheet means that Diego Simeone’s side have only conceded once in their last five games. If ever there looked to be a team equipped to protect a 1-0 lead away from home, it’s Atletico.

There’s also the little matter of stopping Atletico’s talented forwards from scoring. Third in La Liga, Atletico have found the net in all but one of their last 17 outings.

Simeone also decided to rotate his squad at the weekend, with Antoine Griezmann rested after scoring the winner in the first-leg.


Ref Watch

The Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi will officiate. He showed six yellow cards and one red in the last match he refereed, between Cagliari and Torino.


Match Odds

Atletico Madrid are the favourites at 2.14, with the draw at 3.55 and Leicester out at 3.85.

The visitors beat Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16, with a 4-2 away win followed by a 0-0 draw at home. Having carved out a small lead Atletico should be able to protect it and the draw looks like a good value bet.

If you fancy Atletico to steal a win, the 1.56 in the Draw No Bet market, is a decent alternative option.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Unders is the favourite at 1.73, with overs at 2.32.

It’s a reasonable price for less than three goals considering that Atletico are likely to keep things tight. Of the nine Champions League games that Atletico have been involved in this season, seven have seen under 2.5 goals.


To Score

Griezmann leads the market at 2.30, which isn’t bad value for a player that tends to deliver on the big occasion.

For Leicester, Jamie Vardy can be backed at 3.40. As good as the Atletico defence is, that’s a big price for the England striker, who has scored six goals in his last nine games.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – The Draw at 3.55

 BACK – Under 2.5 goals at 1.73


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