Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico MadridUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Nov 6, 2019, Bay Arena
BAYER LEVERKUSEN have been the whipping boys of Group D and another defeat against Atletico Madrid would end their faint hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16.
The Germans haven't recovered from the blow of losing 2-1 at home to Lokomotiv Moscow in the group opener, falling to further defeats against Juventus and Atletico to sit bottom of the section.
They can at least take some heart from an improved performance in Spain, holding Diego Simeone's men to a stalemate until Alvaro Morata came off the bench to nod a late winner.
I tipped Atletico to win without conceding that night in a game where goals would be at a premium and that's how it transpired.
I managed to catch most of the match on TV and for a Champions League encounter the quality was terrible, with both sides frequently misplacing passes and squandering possession easily.
Atletico have lost just once all season, in La Liga to Real Sociedad, but they've yet to hit top gear and there's a lack of fluency to their play.
Four of their last eight games have ended in draws, with their last two away days ending in 1-1 stalemates against Alaves and Sevilla. So a few punters might fancy backing this one to end level at 23/10 with Unibet, especially with Leverkusen drawing seven of their last 13 home games in Europe.
But Bayer have been in dismal form, winning just once in their last seven matches in all competitions. Even that victory was against lowly Paderborn in the German Cup and four of those seven games have ended in defeat, the most recent coming at the weekend against Monchengladbach.
They also have a few injury problems, with key midfielder Lars Bender set to miss out after sitting out the weekend defeat with a thigh problem. Forwards Charles Aranguiz and Leon Bailey made their comebacks from injury off the bench against Monchengladbach so they are also a bit rusty.
And lively winger Bailey didn't make the best of returns, picking up a red card in the last minute. That summed up Bayer's troubled season so I think Atletico will edge another victory here and the Spanish side are a generous 33/20 with Unibet.
Simeone's expertly drilled defence has been helping them grind out results as Atletico have been averaging just a goal a game in their last eight matches. Leverkusen have only scored once in three European games this term so it points towards another match with few thrills.
Wonderkid Joao Felix is an injury doubt for Atletico but Simeone should have enough firepower in Morata and Diego Costa to finish off Leverkusen.
Former Chelsea striker Morata has hit a rich vein of form since sinking Leverkusen with that header at the Wanda Metropolitano, netting in the next three games against Bilbao, Alaves and Sevilla.
He's definitely a striker who thrives on confidence so the Spaniard looks overpriced at 11/5 with Paddy Power for a goal in Germany.
It's all or nothing for Leverkusen in this one so there could be a few fiery challenges. Atletico rarely shy away from a fight so there could be some value in the cards market, even though the clash in Spain saw only two yellows dished out. William Hill are offering 6/5 on each team receiving over one card and that looks great value.
This UEFA Champions League match between Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid will be played on Nov 6, 2019 and kick off at 20:00