Juventus vs Atlético Madrid: Preview and Prediction￼
The two elite combatants are ready for their final friendly pre-season fixture as the brand new season of Spanish and Italian football is just around the corner. Juventus will be up against the Spanish outfit Atlético Madrid right before the kick-off of their domestic league campaign. The high-voltage footballing action will be played at Bloomfield Stadium of Israel on the 8th of August.
The previous season saw the Bianconeri side having their first trophyless campaign since 2011-12. Hence the Old Lady roster went through some major changes to have a fresh start to the new season and rewrite their domestic legacy. In his returning season, Juventus gaffer Massimiliano Allegri somehow managed to keep the reputation of the Turin-based club and now it’s time for the main action in this season.
Atlético hit their best blow in the 2020-21 season to reclaim the La Liga title after the drought of seven years. They were overthrown by the arch-rivals Real Madrid in the following season to finish third in the league standings. Diego Simeone and the company are having hard preparations to be back in the title scenario with a bang.
What have they done so far?
Juventus had very few pre-season fixtures compared to other top European clubs who have participated in multiple tours. The Bianconeri side has already faced two Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid earlier and is now gearing up to face the third one too. In their previous fixture, Juventus lost the tie against the reigning European champions Real Madrid in a 0-2 scoreline in favour of Los Blancos.
On the other hand, ATM has participated in three pre-season fixtures and emerged victorious in all of them. A thrilling win over Manchester United ended the Red Devils’ triumphant run as it must have boosted the confidence of the Atlético roster. It was a difficult fixture for the Red and Whites and an 86th-minute winner from Joao Felix handed them an edge at Norway’s Ullevaal Stadion.
Head to Head record
The Italian and Spanish combatants have faced each other seven times on record till the date and in which, six games were home and away legs of three UEFA Champions League ties while one encounter was played at International Champions Cup. The head-to-head record slightly favours the Madrid-based club with three wins as Juve could emerge victorious only twice and two of them also consummated on neutral scorelines.
The most recent face-off between these two sides happened in the group stages of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League where Paulo Dybala’s strike in the injury time of first-half helped Juve to the top of Group D.
Just a season before this triumph, Juventus staged an iconic comeback against the same opponent which will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in the history of this sport. The White and Blacks were trailing by 0-2 after the completion of the Wanda Metropolitano leg but then the Colchoneros’ familiar foe Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to score a hat-trick and sailed the Turin-based club to the next round.
Amidst the transfer window
The departure of poster boy Paulo Dybala and Matthijs de Ligt has deteriorated the star-power of Juve roster. However, the Bianconeri management is leaving no stone unturned to fill the gaps and also showed their true intentions after the arrival of Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria. Currently, they are also pursuing the likes of Atlanta forward Luis Muriel and the Serbian stalwart Filip Kostic to add more strength to their roster.
It seems like the Atletico board was well-prepared for the departures of Luis Suarez and Hector Herrera as they took no time to announce their replacements. The home-grown striker Alvaro Morata was brought back to the roster after the completion of his loan stint at Juventus. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Argentine full-back Nahuel Molina is their biggest signing from this summer transfer window to date.
The star Juve midfielder Paul Pogba is unavailable until September as his Meniscus injury therapy is still underway. Pogba joins Federico Chiesa and Weston McKennie on the list of absentees who won’t be part of this fixture due to several injury concerns. However, we may get to see the Argentine playmaker Angel Di Maria leading the offensive unit of the Bianconeri side.
Irrespective of results, ATM manager Diego Simeone offered playtime to all his players during the previous friendly fixtures and now it’s time to offer them a final call before La Liga kick-off. The central defensive duo of Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez made a second-half appearance in the Cadiz victory and are expected to feature in the starting eleven.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Juventus (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Leonardo Bonucci, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Angel Di Maria, Denis Zakaria, Manuel Locatelli, Lucas Pellegrini; Moise Kean, Dusan Vlahovic
Atlético Madrid (4-3-3): Jan Oblak; Nahuel Molina, Stefan Savic, Raul Gimenez, Renan Lodi; Marcos Llorente, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Rodrigo de Paul, Yanick Carasco; Angel Correa, Alvaro Morata
Both managers will be trying hard to play safely and protect their players from the risk of injuries. The current form of Atlético Madrid indicates their serious contention to emerge victorious from this contest. However, Juventus can’t be ruled out from the winning equation so easily due to their heavy star-power and past record against this Spanish counterpart.