Atletico Madrid recorded their 11th 1-0 win of the season in the first leg and followed that up with another 1-0 home triumph against Vallecano on the weekend as they continue to make Barca work for the title. With the Bundesliga all but won, Bayern were able to field close to a reserve side at home to Monchengladbach on Saturday, picking up a 1-1 draw, but as has been reiterated throughout Guardiola’s time in Germany, it is in this competition that he will be judged.
Bayern continued their poor record in away Champions League knockout ties under Guardiola as they’re now W1-D4-L4 since he took over. At home, however, they’re W5-D2-L1, but they only managed two clean sheets in these matches, against Benfica and Shakhtar. We have Atletico as the fifth best team in Europe and Bayern’s record when hosting sides ranked below them, but in Europe’s top seven, since 2001/02 is just W1-D3-L2, as they trailed by at least two goals at the break in half of these games.
Atletico clocked up yet another clean sheet against Vallecano, meaning they last conceded a goal seven games ago away to Espanyol in the league. Barcelona are the only team to have scored against them in the knockout stages of this competition and under Simeone, they haven’t lost any of their 16 Champions League away games by more than one goal and only trailed at the break in one of these matches. In away knockout games they’re W2-D2-L3 under the Argentine, as they were level at the break in six of these games and were ahead against Barcelona this term before Fernando Torres saw red in a moment of madness.
Robben remains an absentee for Bayern from the first leg, but Boateng is fit to return in the centre of defence, as is Godin for Atletico, while the exciting Ferreira Corrasco is also available again. Seven sides have lost the first away leg of Champions League quarter-final or semi-final 1-0 since 2008/09 and their record in the second leg at home is W0-D3-L4. As a result, and given how solid Atletico have been defensively, we’re siding with them +1 on the Asian Handicap at 1.9.
Bayern’s form in this knockout stage has been far from impressive, with a 1-0 win over Benfica their only victory and clean sheet as they let a 2-0 lead slip at Juve and also needed a miraculous comeback from 2-0 down to force extra-time in the return home leg. Should Atletico find the net here, it’s difficult to see them conceding more than twice and as a result Guardiola looks set to stumble at the semi-final stage for the third season in a row with Bayern. His star man, Lewandowski, has suffered a dip in form, only finding the net in just one of his last seven starts in all competitions and as a result we could see Thomas Muller take his place, as he did against Benfica.
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