PSV (+1200) at Atletico Madrid (-333), Draw (+450)
A lot of the Champions League Round of 16 playoffs were all but decided after the first leg. That doesn’t apply to the battle between PSV and Atletico Madrid, though. The teams drew 0-0 in the Netherlands three weeks ago, leaving everything to play for in the second leg, which goes tomorrow at Vicente Calderon Stadium in Spain (2:45 PM Eastern).
Another 0-0 draw would see the game go to extra time and possibly the penalties. A earn a draw and manager to score, they would advance on away goals. Atletico, on the other hand, needs to win to punch their ticket to the quarterfinals.
PSV qualified for the knockout stage by finishing second in Group B, earning 10 of the 18 points disputed (3-1-2). They eliminated Manchester United, but failed to win away from home, losing twice and drawing at Old Trafford.
Atletico finished first in Group C with 13 points (4-1-1) thanks to their stifling defense, which surrendered a tournament-low three goals in the Round-Robin portion.
While PSV would have loved a win in the first leg, their number one priority was keeping Atletico off the board; mission accomplished. Now, the defensive-minded Spanish squad will need to attack, an area where they struggle. (Atletico did manage 11 goals in six Round-Robin games, but average just 1.5 goals per game in La Liga.) PSV will have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for the most opportune time to counterattack.
Don’t expect many goals between these two clubs. It’s in their nature to win low scoring affairs. The game total for this game reflects that, sitting at two (the lowest of this week’s Champions League matchups), but I still think that’s too high. I see this match ending 1-0. I’ll take the under.
Pick: UNDER 2.
(Photo credit: Carlos Delgado [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)