Manchester United must be confident of their chances going into the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Atletico Madrid. The Red Devils are the better placed of the two teams, with the first leg at Wanda Metropolitano ending in a 1-1 draw. Thus, when the two meet at Old Trafford, Ralf Rangnick’s side might be slight favourites to go through to the quarter-finals.
It is not just the result from the first leg that Manchester United should be happy about though. There is also the small matter of Cristiano Ronaldo finding his form.
Ronaldo had struggled in recent times but came into his own in the game against Tottenham Hotspur, scoring a fantastic hattrick to guide Manchester United to a 3-2 win. And we all know about his record against Atletico Madrid. Thus, many fans will be hoping for the Portuguese superstar to get the better of the Spanish side once again.
Diego Simeone has given an interesting prediction on how things could play out between the two though. As reported by Manchester Evening News, the manager said:
"“The characteristics of the footballers that Manchester United have and our players and the way we both play I imagine it will be a dynamic game, a game where there will be alternative moments [for each team].“We’ll press high, it will be the classic type of match you expect in a game like this, the vertigo you suffer sometimes when a team plays at home, I think we have the opportunity to hit on the counter to capitalise on any errors they make.”"
Simeone makes Manchester United vs Atletico Madrid prediction
Atletico Madrid have been one of the most consistent teams in Europe since Simeone became their manager, even though they have not been able to get past the final hurdle and actually win the Champions League.
This season though, their performances and results have left a lot to be desired and it is safe to say that Simeone’s side have been underwhelming in both domestic competitions and Europe.
This could be a great opportunity for Manchester United to get the better of Atletico Madrid and make it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
But despite their disappointing form this season, it would be a huge mistake to count Atletico Madrid out. They still have some huge match winners in their squad, as well as the experience to grind out results even when things are not going their way.