Lokomotiv Moscow vs Atletico MadridUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Oct 1, 2019, Lokomotiv Stadium
I FANCIED Atletico Madrid to win the Champions League last season, only for the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo to intervene.
With the Final being held at their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium, Atletico had extra motivation to go all the way.
But their adventure ended in the last 16 against Juventus, crashing out despite taking a 2-0 lead with them to Turin for the second leg.
That was mainly down to Ronaldo, who enjoyed his finest night in a Juve shirt as his hat-trick dumped Diego Simeone's side out.
The draw for this season's group stage gave Atletico an instant chance for revenge, with Ronaldo and Co heading to the Metropolitano on match day one, but it looked like more misery was in store as Juventus stormed 2-0 ahead.
Strikes from Stefan Savic and Hector Herrera in the last 20 minutes salvaged a draw but is still wasn't the ideal start and the pressure is now on Atletico to win in Moscow.
They won't get it easy against a Lokomotiv side who surprised most people by winning at Leverkusen in their group opener.
I tipped the Germans to edge that one, given Lokomotiv had lost every away game in last year's groups, but instead it was the Russians who claimed a huge victory.
They followed that up with another massive win on domestic duty as the 1-0 weekend triumph over Zenit left Lokomotiv just two points off the summit in Russia.
They will now be confident of taking something from Atletico but their European record in Moscow is poor, winning only five of their last 13 home fixtures.
Porto and Schalke triumphed in Russia last season, with Lokomotiv's only win coming against a Galatasaray side with a woeful away record.
Atletico are a far better side than any of those teams so I fancy Simeone's men to win at 7/10 with Marathonbet.
They had a tough game at the weekend, drawing 0-0 at home to Real Madrid in the derby, but that clean sheet proves Atletico are still one of the meanest defensive units around.
I can't see there being many goals in this one so try under 2.5 strikes at 7/10 with Marathonbet or Atletico to win to nil at 31/20 with BetVictor.
Scoring has been a problem for Simeone, with his side netting just two goals in their last three games. But Diego Costa is still a huge threat while big-money buy Joao Felix has the pace and class to cause plenty of problems.
Portuguese kid Felix is a better price for anytime scorer at 2/1 with BetVictor while Costa is 7/4 with the same firm. The volatile striker is always liable for a card so it could pay to back him for a goal and a card, which is priced 9/2 at William Hill. A yellow card on its own for the striker is 13/8 with the same firm
My tip on Lokomotiv's Dmitri Barinov being carded came up against Leverkusen so a repeat could pay off again but the odds aren't great at 6/4 with William Hill.
This UEFA Champions League match between Lokomotiv Moscow and Atletico Madrid will be played on Oct 1, 2019 and kick off at 20:00