Porto to dump Atlético out of Europe altogether
Diego Simeone's Atlético Madrid head to the Estádio do Dragão on Tuesday night in the final UEFA Champions League group game of 2021/2022 in a do-or-die match against Porto. A win coupled with Liverpool besting AC Milan would let through the Spanish title holders into second place, but only that combination of results will do. The Colchoneros prepared for the encounter with a shock 2-1 home defeat to Mallorca; 10 points behind rivals Real in La Liga already and facing oblivion in Europe, this could turn a bitterly disappointing start to the campaign into a full on shambles. Read our preview here:
Former international winger Sérgio Conceição continues to do a sterling job at the helm of one of Portugal's big three, and his side have yet to lose in the league this term, winning 12 of the 15 to date, the latest being a routine 3-0 triumph over Portimonense on the road. Mateus Uribe will be missing for the Dragões after accumulating too many yellow cards in the competition. Serbian achorman Marko Grujić is set to deputise in the 4-4-2 that will largely be the mirror image of their opponents' shape. The real excitement for the home side is left winger Luis Díaz - the Colombian 24 year old has blasted in 12 goals for his club this year, including two vital ones in continental fixtures. He has very few weaknesses to his overall game, and will be at the heart of most of his side's approach play, especially because of his fondness for cutting inside from the flank to offer a run from deep into the penalty area.
His return's no Felipe
No Porto in a storm
In the likelihood that Milan do lose to Liverpool, a draw would be sufficient to at least maintain Atlético's continued interest in Europe after Christmas, albeit in the secondary competition's knockout rounds. It would still represent a huge climbdown from even last term's exploits, and with Porto needing to be sure of a result themselves, the odds are not in Simeone's favour. Even so, bet365 have odds of 2.75 for Porto to win, an outcome that would boot the red and white half of Madrid out of Europe altogether.