Spanish champions Atletico Madrid host Italian champions Juventus at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night, in the best match of this Champions League gameweek.
Last season's finalists Atletico suffered a shock 3-2 loss to Olympiakos in the opening week, adding extra significance to this tie. Another defeat now will leave Diego Simeone's men with an uphill task to advance to the knockout stages.
However, the Rojiblancos have bounced back from the defeat in Greece and are now enjoying a good run of form, winning two and drawing one of their three La Liga matches. They warmed up for this tie by hammering Sevilla 4-0 at the weekend to move to third in La Liga, just two points behind leaders Barcelona.
Atletico have won 17 of their last 19 European matches at the Vicente Calderon, and Simeone knows all about importance of this match and the dangers posed by Juventus.
"This is a final, just like our subsequent matches against Valencia and Espanyol. The players must be ready because every game is different and we have to rotate. We have forwards who have different skills in order to balance out our attacking strategy," the Argentine tactician pointed out.
"Juventus have always been a very strong team and it's not easy to find faults in their game. We will have to play a high-level match. I have enormous respect for Juventus. They have always been very strong and they work hard on the pitch. They like to press and create spaces for players like [Carlos] Tevez, [Fernando] Llorente or [Alvaro] Morata."
Juventus, on the other hand, enjoyed a 2-0 win over Malmo in the opening round of the competition. Massimiliano Allegri has had a good start to his reign in the domestic front as well, with the Old Lady winning all six of their Serie A fixtures this season, without conceding a goal.
The Bianconeri enter this contest on the back of a 3-0 win over Atalanta at the weekend, moving to the top of the league table, level on points with AS Roma.
Juventus have made 20 trips to Spain for European competitions but have won on just three occasions. Allegri is well aware of the challenge ahead of him but will fancy his side's chances, especially with the start they had to the season.
"Their [Atletico's] ability with dead balls is something we will have to work, in particular. The important thing is the team's attitude. Atletico display a lot of the characteristics of their manager. It is credit to Simeone that he has been able to transmit his ideas," the Italian stressed.
"Tomorrow will be a big day for us and especially for our defence. We have to be calm while knowing what we are playing for. This is the type of game that brings out a lot of emotion. It's a difficult game for us but also for them."
Rojiblancos skipper Gabi (ankle) is a doubt but otherwise Simeone has no concerns. Meanwhile, Allegri will be without the services of veterans Andrea Pirlo (hip) and Andrea Barzagli (Achilles) but Martin Caceres has recovered from a thigh problem.
Atletico: Moya; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira; Turan, Tiago, Gabi, Koke; Garcia; Mandzukic
Juventus: Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Marchisio, Pogba, Evra; Tevez, Llorente
Where to Watch Live
The match is set for an 12.15 am IST (8.45 pm local time, 2.45 pm ET) start, with live telecast on Ten Action in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE.
Catch the action in the UK on Sky Sports Red Button, with the option to live stream the match online HERE. Viewers in the US can watch the game on ESPN2, DirecTV, FOX Soccer Plus, with an option to live stream HERE.
Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match on beIN Sports Arabia 13 HD, or catch the action via live streaming HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can watch the game live on SuperSport 3 Africa, or live stream the match online HERE.
Watch the match live on C+ Liga de Campeones/HD in Spain and Canale 5 in Italy.