Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Zenit Petersburg

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Updated: September 13, 2013
Atletico Madrid

Continental tourneys, particularly those overseen by UEFA, are strong magnets to online betting enthusiasts. And why will they not be, when some of Europe’s most esteemed clubs are gathered there and groomed to unlock stellar combats? In this upcoming match between Atletico Madrid and Zenit Petersburg, for example, fans will surely flock to stadiums or make arrangements with football betting contractors to have a good peek of the expectedly over-the-top Champions League battle. The match will be held on September 18 as part of the group stage, and the Estadio Vicente Calderon in Spain’s capital will serve as the venue.

 

The Spanish conquerors

After landing in the third spot last season, the La Liga powerhouse have secured a ticket to the Champions League group stage. Atletico Madrid obtained a total of 76 points from 38 league matches, just nine points short of city-rivals Real Madrid’s 85. Table toppers Barcelona achieved a staggering 100-point bowl to lead the pack.

 

Los Colchoneros may have lost the brilliant Radamel Falcao to AS Monaco last summer, but the club remain positive that they will do just as good even without the Colombian hero.  Striker David Villa—Spain’s all-time best scorer—is still onboard which will certainly pacify coach Diego Simeone’s apprehension. In addition, the Liverpool-target Diego Costa is still part of the ensemble, which further intensifies the club’s potential success in the continental tournament.

 

The Russian warriors

Finishing second in last season’s Russian top-level football, Zenit were able to advance to the Champions League’s qualifying stage, where they slammed Danish Nordsjaelland on a 6-0 aggregate score. The following round, in the playoffs, Sine-Belo-Golubye yet again proved that they are no easy targets. They completed their two-leg tourney with Portuguese Paços de Ferreira on back-to-back wins with an aggregate score of 8-3. This paved their way to their current entry to the group stage.

 

Zenit finished their past seasons big time, with the prolific Andrei Arshavin expected to return to the club very soon. Powerful forward, Hulk, will continue his aptitude at running at defenders and cutting in for goal netting. Both of these men will serve as manager Luciano Spalletti’s key players to strengthen their Champions League campaign.

 

Prediction: The Spanish and Russian sides both carry a good arsenal of players, but Simeone’s army got the more powerful bullets to win this tourney. Zenit will take on their striking prowess to deliver great goals, but Real Madrid will be able to counter these attacks and convert opponents’ chances into their own scores. The match will conclude in a 3-1 final tally, in favor of the Spanish squad.

 

Atletico Madrid | Image source: ieeet.com