Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven take on Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in their Round-of-16 fixture of the UEFA Champions League Wednesday at the Philips Stadion in the Netherlands.
Atletico Madrid look the narrow favourites on paper, as they have won four games in the group stages this season, while PSV have won three of their six games. However, the Dutch side cannot be underestimated at home.
PSV have just a single loss and five wins from their previous six games in all competitions this season. They scored seven times in their last three Dutch league fixtures and have conceded none.
Having said that, PSV will be worried as top-scorer Luuk de Jong is unavailable for the game owing to a suspension. The good news, however, is star Mexican winger Andres Guardado is set for a return.
Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, are presently second in La Liga. Although local rivals Real Madrid, third in the table, are trying to closing the distance with Atletico in the table, Diego Simeone's men are determined to hold on to their second spot. They have conceded just 11 goals — the lowest among the 20 Spanish top-flight teams — from 25 games so far this season.
PSV are wary of their opponent's strengths and are not willing to taking them lightly.
"Atletico have a consistent side, they're a great team unit, they won't give anything away," PSV coach Philip Cocu was quoted by UEFA as saying ahead of the game. "They always play the same way — they are winners and they play a compact game despite a busy fixture list.
"They are a nice example of everybody playing for each other and for the team. You have to be prepared and give your all every time," Cocu said.
Diego Simeone, on his part, knows PSV's present impressive and consistent form this season will pose a great deal of danger to Atletico Madrid. Therefore, the Argentine coach has asked his army to control the game right from the beginning of the match.
"PSV are a very good side, only Ajax can keep up with them [in the Netherlands]," Simeone said. "This is a different competition and it will be an intense game played at high speed – the players will have to show plenty of energy. Our aim is to take control of this and to control the match."
Possible starting XI:
PSV: Zoet; Arias, Bruma, Moreno, Willems; Van Ginkel, Guardado, Propper; Pereiro, Locadia, Narsingh.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Gimenez, Filipe Luis; Koke, Gabi, Saul Niguez, Oliver Torres; Griezmann, Fernando Torres.
Where to watch live
PSV vs Atletico Madrid is scheduled to kick-off at the Philips Stadion at 8:45 p.m. CET (1:15 a.m. IST, 7:45 p.m. GMT, 2:45 p.m. ET) on Feb. 24.
Viewers in India can catch the game on Ten Sports, while the streaming option of the game is also available on tensports.com.
US viewers can catch the game on Fox Sports 2 USA and Fox Deportes. The option of live streaming is also available on FoxSoccer2Go and Fox Sports Go. The radio commentary is available on ESPN Deportes.
People in Spain can catch the game on beIN Sports Spain, and also stream it live on beIN Sports Connect Espana. People in Netherlands can tune into SBS 6 and Ziggo Sport.