Wednesday’s match against AS Roma will be played as a final by Atlético de Madrid after winning just two out of the 12 points that have been under dispute in 2017-18 UEFA Champions League’s Group C, which is currently lead by the italians having Chelsea as the second place.
For Eusebio Di Francesco’s men would be enough with getting a point from Madrid to assure their presence in the Round of 16 of the continental tournament. Furthermore, giallorossi could award for theirselves group’s first place if they win at the Wanda Metropolitano and Chelsea don’t do so in their visit to Baku to play Qarabag.
On the other hand, Simeone’s team arrive to this crucial clash having tied seven of the last nine league, Cup and European Cup matches, therefore a good result for the romans next Wednesday looks like a possible scenario, considering they have accomplished victory on their last six games in all competitions.
Nevertheless, not everything are bad signs for Simeone’s men on the eve of this big European challenge. Considering Estadio Vicente Calderón and Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Atlético have been able to keep their fortress unbeaten in 21 out of their last 22 games in Europe, being Antonio Conte’s Chelsea in the second round of this group stage the only side capable to leave Madrid victoriously after facing the red and white stripped men.
Maintaining their reliability as locals in Europe must be Atletico’s challenge ahead this crunch against a team as Roma which is currently walking through a golden moment. Di Francesco’s side have achieved prestigious wins versus rivals such as Chelsea, overwhelmed 3-0 in Rome, Fiorentina and SS Lazio, last Saturday in the Derby della Capitale, a result that sets giallorossi in table’s fourth place, five points below leaders SSC Napoli.
In the individual aspect power strikers of both teams, Antoine griezmann and Edin Dzeko, arrive to this fixture marked by a lack of goal in their last appearances. Atleti’s French reference hasn’t felt goal extasy since debacle versus Chelsea, in total eight matches without scoring, and was seriously criticized by Wanda’s crowd in last Saturday’s Derbi against Real Madrid, whose scoreless tie left rojiblancos ten points bellow first classified FC Barcelona.
Whilst the Bosnian, who signed a sweet season start in front of goal with seven goals in first six games, is now within a scoreless streak of six matches. However, players like Diego Perotti, Gerson and Radja Nainggolan are the ones who have had success while finishing to lift Roma’s expectations in this season.
Atlético have never lost against Roma and is ahead the historic match up against Italians with two victories and one draw, being Quarter Finals of 1998-99 UEFA Cup the most trascendental precedent in which rojiblancos beat Roma in all two legs by 2-1. Unfortunately for the Spanish cause this success against the giallorossi hasn't been remade in first round of this year’s competition in which lack of aim in front of Alison’s presence denied the red and white triumph. Griezmann’s squad will need to be more decisive this Wednesday if they want to keep hopes to move on in a group that by the moment puts them in the third place, which gives an additional spot for UEFA Europa League.
It will be interest to witness which are the statistics that persist after this Wednesday’s crucial clash between rojiblancos y giallorossi in a match that brings the chance to secure ticket for the next round for this high qualified Di Francesco’s Roma or maintain hopes for Atlético’s purposes that depend on an estelar performance, a performance such as the one offered by Saúl Ñíguez’s last summer’s U-21 European Championship in which a hat-trick from Atleti’s midfielder knocked out Roma’s Lorenzo pellegrini Italy in Semifinals.