Borussia Dortmund versus Atletico Madrid is one of the heavyweight clashes in the Champions League tonight. The two sides have made the final in this competition over the recent past and here is a look at the talking points ahead of this fixture.
Dortmund’s current form v Atletico’ strong history in the tournament
Dortmund will be happy with how their season is shaping up both at home and in Europe. If they win here it will be their third consecutive win in the Champions League since October 2016, with the last game in that run coming against Legia Warsaw. Indeed they are yet to lose this season, beating Monaco and Brugge to nil in their first two games. Lucien Favre will want to ride on their exceptional form in a bid to secure qualification for the next stage as soon as possible
Atletico Madrid for their part have been serial achievers in this tournament and they will be out to extend that run. For them, they have lost just three of their last 25 Champions League group stage games winning 16 whilst drawing the other six and they have kept 16 clean sheets during that time. They have a very experienced squad that should be able to play a key role in shaping the outcome of this match.
Marco Reus v Antoine Griezmann
The Germans have leaders in their side and Marco Reus ranks very highly for them. He has been an instrumental figure both in the dressing room and on the pitch for quite some time now. It goes without saying that he will be expected to pull the strings for the hosts. This should not be a huge ask for him when you consider that he has had a hand in 14 goals in his last ten home Champions League, appearances.
The Spaniards equally, have a leader in their star striker Antoine Griezmann. The World Cup winner has been a mainstay in this Atleti side, thanks to his creative instincts and ability to finish. His achievements since joining the side five years ago have been outstanding. It comes as no surprise that he has been involved in 25 goals in the Champions League during that time with 19 goals and six assists. This is 15 goals more than any other Atletico player in the side and he should have a huge say in the outcome of this fixture.
Dortmund’s expansive style v Atletico’s astute defending
Finally, this fixture signifies the meeting of two contrasting styles of football. Dortmund are known for their expansive style of football that is premised on short accurate passes and a lot of movements by players off the ball. The results have always been high scoring encounters and lots of passes completed per game in addition to dominating possession. The style has been criticized at times for lack of defensive stability but Dortmund are a fairly successful club and the style seem to serve them just right.
Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, are a complete opposite of their opponents. They like to sit in their own half and wait to punish the opposition on the counter-attack. With very pacy forwards and the quality in the side, they have managed to win matches even without creating the most chances of a particular game. They are very clinical upfront but that is understandable when your main striker is Diego Costa flanked by the likes of Griezamann and Thomas Lemar.