Atletico Madrid are favourites to progress into the quarterfinals of the Champions League. They are set to face PSV Eindhoven at Vicente Calderón in the second leg of their round of 16 encounter Tuesday.
Atletico have been in terrific form after their goalless draw against PSV Eindhoven in the first leg. Atletico defeated Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Velencia and Deportivo in their last four La Liga matches. With such record, Atletico should be confident of defeating PSV at home, where the crowd will egg them on for another impressive performance.
Diego Simeone's side has played some brilliant football in their last four matches, scoring 10 and conceding just one. Though their attack comprising Antoine Griezmann and Luciano Vietto have been superb in the offensive front, one needs to applaud their defence, which conceded three goals only in the group stages. Their defence led by Diego Godin has to be rock solid once more as an away goal for PSV could be catastrophic for Atletico.
Griezmann will be one of the key players for the home team as he has found the back of the net consistently for Atletico this season, scoring 23 goals in all competition so far. Manager Simeone wants the French international to continue his impressive form against PSV at home as well.
"The team is in decent shape. We have been going well in recent matches and we expect to continue that way on Tuesday. I hope Griezmann continues responding to the team needs as he has been doing and like the rest of the squad. We have to score one goal more than our opponents," UEFA official website quoted Simeone as saying.
Atletico will be keen to reach their third straight Champions League quarterfinal, but PSV will also have similar ambitions, to reach the last eight. After PSV's draw in the first leg, they have been decent, winning two, but their last match against Heerenven ended in a draw after their lacklustre performance.
If the PSV players fail to take their game to a higher level, the visitor's Champions League dream might be over at the Vicente Calderón.
PSV are a good counter attacking side, and can trouble the home team as well. If the Atletico defenders let their guard down, PSV striker Luuk de Jong will take advantage of the situation, and look to score goals.
PSV players are expected to come with their A game, and help their team upset the hosts. Manager Phillip Cocu does not mind even if they have to take the game to penalties to reach the quarters.
"We want to advance in the competition and we don't mind if it comes via a penalty shoot-out. Playing for 0-0 isn't easy, though. We have to play football, not only defend. We'll give our all. It's our chance to advance and it won't be easy but we need to believe. We have to fight for a win or draw," Cocu said.
However, if Atletico play as they have been playing of late in the La Liga, the home side should not have much trouble in reaching the quarterfinals of the competition.
Where to watch live
Atletico Madrid vs PSV Eindhoven is scheduled to kick-off at 8:45 p.m. CET (1:15 a.m. IST, 7:45 p.m. GMT, 2:45 p.m. ET).
Viewers in India can catch Atletico Madrid vs PSV Eindhoven game live on Ten Sports,while the streaming option of the game is also available on tensports.com.
People in Spain can catch the game on TV3. Viewers in Netherlands can tune into SBS 6.