Diego Simeone’s side cannot afford to lose when they take on the Austrian champions on Wednesday, and this is our Salzburg vs Atletico Madrid Preview for that Champions League tilt.
Salzburg Recent Form & Team News
Salzburg (W1, D1, L3) can qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockouts for the first time by winning here. Even if they don’t, they’ll still reach the UEFA Europa League should Bayern Munich avoid defeat. All seven of their UCL games this term (including qualifiers) produced over 2.5 goals and saw both teams score, while their last five UCL victories came despite conceding, so entertainment looks likely here.
However, with just one win from their last five UCL home games (D1, L3), the omens aren’t good. Furthermore, they’ve never kept a clean sheet in UCL group stage action here (W1, D1, L3), conceding an average of 3.0 goals per match. Interestingly, they have scored in each half during all three European home games this term (W1, D1, L1).
Player to watch: Mërgim Berisha has bagged four goals across Salzburg’s last three UCL games, and scored his side’s opener in all seven of his competitive goalscoring outings this term.
Hot stat: Salzburg have never drawn a European home game against Spanish opposition (W3, L4), conceding exactly one first-half goal in each of their last three such matches.
Jesse Marsch cannot count on Antoine Bernede (shin) and Mohamed Camara (suspension).
Atletico Madrid Recent Form & Team News
Atletico Madrid (W1, D3, L1) can reach the knockout stages by avoiding defeat, and encouragingly, they enter this match on the back of a ten-game unbeaten streak in all competitions (W7, D3). They opened the scoring in nine of those matches, including October’s 3-2 win over Salzburg.
Boasting a perfect UEFA European record in Austria (W3), each of those three fixtures featured three goals. However, the Spaniards have won just one of their last ten European away games (D2, L7 – outcomes at 90 minutes) with only two fixtures therein goalless at HT.
Player to watch: Two of João Felix’s three UCL goals this term for Atlético came after HT. Seven of his eight competitive club goals this season arrived after the 25th minute.
Diego Simeone will be without Diego Costa (muscle), Jose Maria Gimenez (muscle), and Geoffrey Kondogbia.
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