The Foxes kept themselves in the tie at the Vicente Calderon but now face a mammoth task in unlocking Diego Simeone’s notorious defence
Leicester City are faced with the task of conquering the Atletico Madrid defensive juggernaut to continue their Champions League adventure on Tuesday night.
The Foxes have the same one-goal deficit that they overcame against Sevilla between themselves and a stunning place in the semi-finals, but will face an even sterner test than Jorge Sampaoli’s side this time.
Atletico, renowned for their work ethic and organisation, have never lost in the Champions League under Diego Simeone by a margin that would see them eliminated without extra time or penalties at the King Power Stadium.
|Game||Leicester City vs Atletico Madrid|
|Date||Tuesday, April 18, 2017|
|Time||19:45 GMT, 14:45 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 2 and by stream via the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport app|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on FS2 and by stream via Fox Soccer 2Go.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FS2||Fox Soccer 2Go|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Leicester City players|
|Goalkeepers||Schmeichel, Zieler, Hamer|
|Defenders||Chilwell, Morgan, Simpson, Fuchs, Benalouane|
|Midfielders||Drinkwater, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Ndidi, Mahrez|
|Forwards||Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa|
Leicester captain Wes Morgan returned to training on Monday and the Foxes are hopeful he will be able to play. With Robert Huth suspended, the Jamaican’s reintroduction for his usual central defensive partner is likely to be Shakespeare’s only change.
If Morgan is not fit enough to feature, expect Daniel Amartey to fill in as an emergency centre-back alongside Yohan Benalouane.
Potential starting XI: Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Benalouane, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy.
|Position||Atletico Madrid players|
|Goalkeepers||Moya, Oblak, Moreira|
|Defenders||Godin, Filipe Luis, Savic, Hernandez, Juanfran, Gimenez|
|Midfielders||Gabi, Koke, Saul, Carrasco, Cerci, Thomas, Gaitan|
|Forwards||Griezmann, Torres, Correa, Gameiro|
Kevin Gameiro has trained after an adductor injury and could be inserted straight back into the lineup at the expense of Fernando Torres.
Otherwise, Atletico are likely to be unchanged. Sime Vrsaljko and Augusto Fernandez are still out but Miguel Angel Moya will return to the bench after a thigh problem.
Potential starting XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Filipe Luis; Carrasco, Gabi, Saul, Koke; Griezmann, Gameiro.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
Atletico Madrid are 10/11 favourites to win away, according to Oddschecker, with the draw best priced at 14/5 and Leicester available at 7/2.
Griezmann is the predictable favourite to score first at 4/1, with Gameiro priced at 11/2 and Torres at 13/2. The top Leicester option is Jamie Vardy at 15/2.
Atletico Madrid are a different beast to Sevilla, and Leicester City should be considered significant underdogs for a place in the Champions League semi-finals.
The thing with the Foxes, of course, is that they wrote one of the greatest underdog stories football has ever seen to get here in the first place. That gives them a degree of belief that they can pull this off that most teams in their position would not have.
It might also plant a seed of doubt in Atleti’s mind, but Diego Simeone’s men have navigated plenty of ties of this type. Incredibly, they have never lost in 90 minutes in the Champions League under Simeone by the kind of scoreline that would eliminate them on Tuesday night.
The last time they did so in any European competition was in the Europa League in 2012-13, when a 95th-minute Pablo Orbaiz goal gave Rubin Kazan a 2-0 first-leg lead in the round of 32. You imagine it will require something similarly dramatic for Leicester to pull it off without the help of extra time or penalties.
The big roadblock for Leicester is that while they possess no shortage of attacking punch, the absence of Robert Huth to suspension – and the questionable fitness of Wes Morgan – will make it very difficult for them to keep Antoine Griezmann at bay.
Sevilla did not have that kind of star quality up front in the previous round, and neither did they have the added protection of having kept a clean sheet at home. All signs point towards Atleti returning to the last four, but with Leicester you never quite know.
Source : Goal.com News – International