German side Bayer Leverkusen entertain reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Leverkusen have lost their last four two-legged ties against Spanish opposition and know they’ll have to be at their absolute best to defeat a Madrid side who are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for a seventh time.
Last season’s runners up Madrid, have only lost one match in their last six encounters in Europe this season. Simeone’s men will have to cope without influential Spanish midfielder Koke, who is unavailable due to hamstring injury.
Leverkusen will also have to deal with the loss of their rock at the heart of their defence, Omer Torprak who is suspended for the clash on Wednesday.
The in-form Atletico Madrid striker, Mario Mandzukic has netted five goals in the Europe this season and could very well prove the difference for when the two sides meet Wednesday night.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7:45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Leverkusen 1 (Helmes) 1 Atletico (Merida) – Uefa Europa League, December, 2010
Atletico 1 (Simao) 1 Leverkusen (Derdiyok) – Uefa Europa League, September , 2010
Atletico are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the European Cup for the seventh time.
Atletico have won five and lost just one of their nine Uefa Champions League away games since September 2013.
Leverkusen’s home record against Spanish sides is W6 D3 L5.
Atletico's overall away record against Bundesliga clubs is W5 D3 L7.
The Spanish champions have won their last five two-legged ties against German sides. Their last aggregate defeat came against FC Dynamo Dresden in the 1979/80 Uefa Cup first round.
Bayer Leverkusen to win: 3.2
Atletico Madrid to win: 2.5
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 Wednesday, at 7:45pmReuse content