Lokomotiv Moscow take on the visitors Atletico Madrid at “Lokomotiv Stadium” in the second-leg match of the 1/8 final stage of the UEFA Europa League. The game will be played in Moscow on Thursday, March 15th.
It looks like in this pair everything is obvious and the upcoming clash turns into a simple formality. Lokomotiv Moscow were smashed with 3:0 scoreline in the first-leg tackle in Madrid and it is clear that such a huge handicap is very difficult to win back, especially, from Atletico Madrid. And I thing Yuri Semin understands that perfectly well. Nevertheless, the Russian club keeps on fighting for the gold medals of the Russian Premier League, thus, there is no sense in risking with the side’s key players in the forthcoming encounter within the UEFA Europa League.
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Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid look awesome: Diego Simeone’s team has won 10 out of 11 recent official clashes, having lost only to Barcelona during that period. Moreover, “Los Colchoneros” gained nine clean sheets in 10 those battles. The head-coach will probably use rotation in the forthcoming clash as the club has to play against tough Villarreal this Sunday. However, the side’s reserved squad is full of top players who are not likely to allow the Russians to cover the goal deficit. The main task for Atletico Madrid in the matchup is to kill the game and not let “Loko” to get back into the race. And it is the Spanish club which is so good in it. When “Los Colchoneros” focus on defense the opponents have no chances to score and numerous clean sheets are a good evidence of it.
On the 1/16 final stage of the UEFA Europa League the Spaniards also had three goals handicap over FC Copenhagen on the eve of reverse fixture, having won the second fight as well with 1:0. Eight out of 10 latest away tackles with participation of “Los Colchoneros” within of the Spanish LaLiga ended with under 1.5 scored goals. I believe neither in a sensational victory of Lokomotiv Moscow in the Thursday fight nor in many goals combined in it.
Prediction for the match: Atletico Madrid to win with +0.5 Asian handicap (X2). Under 3.5 scored goals.