We can see some real separation in Group D of the Champions League on Tuesday. Atletico Madrid and Juventus were seen as the overwhelming favorites to advance to the Round of 16 per the Champions League betting odds when the groups were drawn, and they have a chance to feel very great about their chances in a few days. Both clubs are sizable home favorites per the soccer betting odds against Lokomotiv Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, and they can both move to seven points at the conclusion of the first round-robin. Bayer Leverkusen are sitting on no points at the moment, and the German club needs a win in a big way to have any chance of finishing in the top two.
Don’t miss this Champions League match from the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain at 12:55 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on TNT.
Champions League Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Atletico Madrid -158
Bayer Leverkusen +479
Diego Simeone is at it again. Atletico Madrid have had the best back line in Europe for the last half-decade, and the Spanish club has been fantastic in defense once again. They are currently in third place in the La Liga table thanks in large part to their excellent back line, mitigating some of the loss of a sensational forward like Antoine Griezmann.
Coming into this match, Atletico have held five straight opponents without a goal in all competitions. They haven’t allowed an opponent to score since Blaise Matuidi notched a goal in the 65th minute for Juventus in their Champions League clash with Atletico back on September 18. Since that moment, they have shut out Celta Vigo, Mallorca, Real Madrid, and Real Valladolid in La Liga play and Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia in the Champions League.
Bayer Leverkusen are in a five-way tie for third place in the Bundesliga with a 4-2-1 record. Their lone loss was on the road against Dortmund, yet they have yet to prove themselves against the other contenders in Germany this season.
The club’s performance in the Champions League has left a lot to be desired. Leverkusen were shut out 3-0 by Juventus in Turin three weeks ago, failing to notch a shot on goal, and they lost at home to Lokomotiv last month. Lokomotiv had just 21 percent of the possession, but they earned a 2-1 win by countering effectively and parking the bus after taking the lead.
The hosts are a little thin in the back line entering this match. Sime Vrsaljko is a long-term injury with a knee injury, but the right back is expected back in a few weeks. Center back Stefan Savic went down with a knock over the international break, and he is projected to miss a month. Winger Vitolo has missed two matches with a hamstring injury, but he is questionable to play on Tuesday.
Leverkusen are unlikely to have midfielder Charles Aranguiz available for selection since the midfielder has a hairline fracture in his foot. Left back Daley Sinkgraven and center back Jonathan Tah are both questionable to play.
Matchup to Watch
It’s going to be very difficult for Leverkusen to have success against Atletico’s back line. Jan Oblak has been superb in net with seven clean sheets already this campaign, and the defense is impeccable. The German club doesn’t have a top end striker that can finish chances, instead relying on 20-year-old wunderkind Kai Havertz to create, and Havertz probably won’t have much luck this Tuesday.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
The under is an excellent play, and Atletico are a solid pick on the three-way line. This is a really tough spot for Leverkusen, and this club will be continually flustered by Simeone’s tactics.
Champions League Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1, Bayer Leverkusen 0
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