Make no mistake about it, despite beating the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid will be the underdogs going into tonight’s Champions League final against their famed rivals Real Madrid.
Much of this underdog status is down to the playing style of both teams where Real Madrid like to attack and score goals, Atletico on the other hand are more content on soaking up the pressure and hitting teams on the counter-attack.
Having said that, we have already seen what Leicester City achieved with similar tactics this season by going on to win the Premier League title. Atletico have managed to keep the free-scoring teams at bay this season and would hope for similar result later tonight when they square off against Real Madrid in Milan.
Why Atletico have an equal chance to win the trophy?
Mean defense – With Diego Godin back and fit for Diego Simeone’s side, Atletico Madrid are one of the hardest teams to score against. When we couple that with Jan Oblak’s presence in goal, Atletico rightly hold the record for conceding least number of goals this season in La Liga and in Champions League.
Recent Derby record – Since their Champions League defeat back in 2014, Atletico Madrid have owned the Madrid Derby. Real have won only ONE of the last ELEVEN meetings between the two teams which is a remarkable feat from Simeone’s men.
Flair Players – Atletico are not just about drawing blanks, when they need to score goals they have Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres ready to pounce on the opportunities. Not to forget likes of Koke, Saul and Gabi are very talented midfield players who can score at any given time.
With these factors playing in their way, Atletico Madrid have an equal chance of coming out as the worthy winners tonight and get over the grief of conceding a 90th minute equalizer in 2014 which then led to a 4-1 thrashing from their local rivals.
Atletico have the motive, intent and certainly have the talent to win this Champions League final and carve out their name amongst the elites of European Football.