Two ties that are potentially out of reach for both Monaco and Atletico Madrid, it will need two cracking results if the underdog duo are to fight it out in the Final in Cardiff later this month. Both don’t have a goal to show for their first leg efforts, but this is the Champions League, this is knockout time and an early goal could really change things.
Monaco surprisingly – and rarely – failed to score last week on home turf in the first leg. Surely they can’t go two games in a row without finding the back of the net, and that also goes for their wonderkid Kylian Mbappe, too, who’s been on fire this season, linked with big clubs, and Arsenal are interested too. In a few years time, you can add Mbappe to the long list of players Arsenal could have signed (how many times have we seen/heard that?). Let’s be honest, Arsenal have about as much hope of signing the French forward as Northampton Town do.
If Monaco are to stand a chance of reaching a Final for the first time since 2004 – where they lost to Jose Mourinho’s Porto. We wonder what happened to that fella? Speaking of a ChampionsLeague Final, the most baffling stat is the fact that Gianluigi Buffon – a man who’s played at the top stage for the majority of his career in that competition – has in fact never lifted the famous old trophy. It would be great to see him do it this time and we’re sure everyone is rooting for him to do it, unless you’re connected to Monaco, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid.
What We Sayin’?
We’re edging towards a draw on the night, which won’t be enough for the visitors to overhaul that two-goal Juve advantage. That’s our score prediction, but our tip is ever-so-slightly safer – picking BTTS and Over 2.5 goals at 6/5.
Is this tie done and dusted already? The visitors head to the Vicente Calderon – set for its final European game on Wednesday evening – with a three-goal advantage and looking as if they already have one foot in the Final in Cardiff, unless there’s an unbelievable shock on the cards on Wednesday evening.
And a shock it will be. After all, with Antoine Griezmann up top, Atleti do have someone who can find the net. The main issue will be denying Real Madrid hitman Cristiano Ronaldo from getting an away goal for Real. They’ve a number of fresh legs for the match, with the likes of Ronaldo and Karim Benzema rested for their weekend win at Granada in La Liga.
Of course, Atleti will put up more of a fight than Tony Adams’ side, but we think the task at hand will be too much for them to overhaul that away advantage for their city rivals.
What We Sayin’?
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Atleti win, but we don’t think it will be enough. An early Real goal will pretty much put the tie out of reach whilst stopping any sort of spring in Atletico’s step. We’re going for a 2-2 in the Spanish capital at 11/1.
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