Manchester/Madrid, Apr 4 (EFE).- The distinct playing styles of Atletico Madrid and Manchester City will face off for a place in the Champions League semifinal as both hunt for their maiden title in the tournament.
Atletico, a three-time Champions League finalist, have not made the semifinal since 2017 but head Tuesday’s game having won seven of their last eight matches, including their recent visit to Manchester where they defeated United on the European stage.
But this time it will be City, a powerhouse that under Pep Guardiola is known for their possession-based attacking style versus a defensive approach that has characterized Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish coach, however, warned of the attacking capacities of Atletico Madrid.
“It’s more offensive than people believe. He doesn’t want to take a risk in the build-up but they are very good in the final third,” Guardiola said at a presser on the eve of the game.
Atletico’s attacking hopes will mainly hang on an in-form Joao Félix, who scored seven of his 17 goals in the last eight games.
Meanwhile, Atletico will have to do without two of their regular starters in the defense line; injured José María Giménez and Héctor Herrera, as well Yannick Carrasco serving the last of a three-match suspension.
The game will be a good barometer for Manchester City ahead of crucial two weeks during which they will fight to stay alive in three competitions,
The Citizens will take on their closest Premier League rivals Liverpool on Sunday, which could prove decisive in the race for the title before another meeting with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on 13 April.
Three days later, they will face the Reds again, this time in the FA Cup semifinal.
“It’s a joy and a pleasure to be here. Every season we arrive at this stage, I say if we arrive here in April, May fighting for titles, it’s because we have done really well,” Guardiola said.
“Bad results right now and you are out of the competitions,” he added. EFE