Atletico Madrid vs Bayer LeverkusenUEFA Champions League, KO: 17:55 Oct 22, 2019, Wanda Metropolitano
ATLETICO MADRID have been relentless in the European arena over the past decade so it's hard to see Bayer Leverkusen getting any joy from their trip to Spain.
Diego Simeone's men have made a good start to a tough Champions League section this season, coming from 2-0 down to claim a point at home to Juventus before winning 2-0 at Lokomotiv Moscow.
I tipped Atletico to win with a clean sheet in Russia and it came up thanks to Simeone's expertly drilled defence. That was one of five clean sheets in a row before the international break, summing up what a difficult task it is to get the ball past Jan Oblak.
The keeper was finally beaten on Saturday, though, as Atletico dropped two points in La Liga with a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia and they will be out to make amends here.
While Atletico have been brilliant in defence so far this season, they haven't exactly set the heather alight going forward. Three of their last six games have ended in 0-0 stalemates while Simeone's side have only scored over two goals in one match this term, a 3-2 win over Eibar in La Liga.
Despite boasting an impressive array of firepower with the likes of Diego Costa, Alvaro Morara and Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix, something just isn't clicking up front.
However, they should still have enough quality to see off a Bayer Leverkusen side who sit bottom of Group D after losing their first two matches.
Atletico have lost just once in their last 23 European home games, winning 18 of them, and are unbeaten in nine matches against German opposition in Spain.
Their last lost to a German side at home came in 1996 against Dortmund but it was 2-0 to Atletico when Borussia came calling in the group stage last term.
Leverkusen can take some solace from the fact Dortmund crushed Simeone's side 4-0 at the Westfalen last year while their own form on the road in Europe has been decent.
Bayer crashed 3-0 at Juventus last time out but that was one of only three losses in their last 12 Euro road trips and they were unbeaten in five away Champions League games before their trip to Turin.
However, they warmed up for the jaunt to Madrid by crashing 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga and are 5/1 outsiders for the daunting Champions League clash. Atletico don't offer much value at a best 13/20 so I'll be backing them to win to nil again at 8/5 with Bet365.
It was 2-0 to Atletico in two of their home group games last season and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a repeat here. That scoreline pays 6/1 with most firms. If you want to play it a little safer, just backing Atletico to score twice pays 12/5 at Bet 365.
Given the lack of goals in games involving Simeone's side this term, I like the look of the 6/5 Ladbrokes are offering on under 1.5 goals in the first half, under 2.5 strikes in the second half and either team to win.
I fancied big-money buy Felix to cause Bayer Leverkusen problems but the teenager picked up an ankle injury in the clash with Valencia and will be out for three weeks.
Thomas Lemar could take his place after coming off the bench on Saturday and the Frenchman looks good value for a goal at 9/2 with Paddy Power.
This UEFA Champions League match between Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen will be played on Oct 22, 2019 and kick off at 17:55