Why Atletico Madrid is not a favourable draw for Inter

The Champions League draw has set an exciting fixture between Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid for the round of 16. This match will not only be a challenge of skills but also a meeting of friends and compatriots. Diego Simeone, the Argentine coach of Atletico Madrid, shares his roots with Inter’s vice-president, Javier Zanetti, and has also played for the Nerazzurri. Furthermore, Simeone shared his playing days at Lazio with current Inter Milan manager, Simone Inzaghi.

Alessia Scurati, writing for Tuttosport, highlights that it would be a mistake to view Atletico Madrid through a traditional lens. “Atletico has always been a team that concedes little or no space to its opponents”, writes Scurati. However, the 2023/24 European version of Atletico is more attacking than ever and very similar to Inter Milan. With Lino on the left and Molina on the right driving the wings, Morata and Griezmann are expected to make the difference upfront.

Atletico’s competitive edge, according to Scurati’s analysis in Tuttosport, lies in the structural composition of the team. Despite their Champions League successes, Atletico’s performance in the Liga is lagging, affirming the importance of looking at group performance as a key area of evaluation. Unlike the Liga race, the Champions League is where the team shines.

Simeone, like his counterpart Inzaghi, employs a 3-5-2 formation. The report draws attention towards individual duels, as Atletico presents a tough challenge, with players like Rodrigo De Paul, who consistently delivers in both phases of the pitch.

The striking duo of Morata and Griezmann also commands attention. Their scoring record equals that of Erling Haaland and Martin Højland, both of whom are out of the tournament, with 5 goals each.

Antoine Griezmann, however, stands out as an exceptional player in the competition. Following his performances throughout the six group games, many critics rate him as the best player of the tournament so far. The French striker impressed against Lazio in Rome, where many thought he was a class apart. His performance against Feyenoord, where he scored once and showcased his class, further cemented his reputation. In Scotland, he scored from the penalty spot against Celtic and again found the net in the return leg. Griezmann’s ability to make impacts from different areas of the pitch, acting as both a striker and a midfielder, is being hailed as a mix of tactical wisdom and disciplined execution.

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