- Spanish champions Atletico meet two-time Champions League winner Porto for the first time in eight years
- The two teams have met six times previously, with two wins apiece and a pair of draws
- Read on for betting odds, a full preview and a best bet for their Champions League opener
Having been drawn in Group B alongside seven-time champion AC Milan and six-time winner Liverpool, both Atletico Madrid and FC Porto will understand the importance of a winning start here. This may or may not be the ‘Group of Death’ in this year’s Champions League, but Atletico and not Porto are favored to make it through to the second round.
However, both Madrid and Porto should be confident going into this opening match on Wednesday, September 15th, having both made unbeaten starts to their respective league campaigns, with both in the top four in Spain and Portugal, respectively.
Atletico Madrid vs Porto Odds
|Atletico Madrid vs FC Porto||ATL -1.5 (+200) | POR +1.5 (-230)||ATL -160 | POR +550 | DRAW +270||Ov 2.5 (+115) | Un 2.5 (-140)|
Odds as of September 13th at DraftKings
Atletico Ready to Roll
Coming off a first La Liga title in seven years, Diego Simeone’s team will be hoping to break through from three-time runners-up to first time champions in Atletico’s 12th Champions League campaign.
The team has been bolstered by the return of former Atletico star Antoine Griezmann on loan from Barcelona. The Frenchman will now be able to partner with another former Barcelona forward, Luis Suarez, in attack in hopes of improving on getting beyond the quarterfinal for the first time in four years.
Antoine Griezmann is back. Here’s the French striker @ Wanda Metropolitano as new Atletico Madrid player. ⚪️🔴 #Atleti
…it’s a loan plus buy option from Barcelona. Obligation to buy clause will be triggered in case he plays at least 50% matches with Atléti. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/LvedJE88q1
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 8, 2021
And Atletico can also be confident based on its recent history, with all but two of the team’s previous 11 campaigns reaching the knockout rounds.
Porto In Rare Territory
Entering its 25th Champions League group stage campaign, the 1987 and 2004 winners have competed in more seasons of this stage of the competition than anyone not named Real Madrid or Barcelona.
🤩 25.ª Presença na Champions League ⚽
— FC Porto (@FCPorto) September 13, 2021
On top of that, the recent portents for success are good, with the club reaching the knockout phase in each of its last four seasons. And it sent shockwaves around Europe last year with its last-16 win over Juventus, which preceded a narrow 2-1 aggregate loss to eventual champion Chelsea.
Atletico Madrid vs FC Porto 2020-21 Stats
|2-3-3 (R16)||2020-21 Champions League Record||6-3-1 (quarterfinals)|
|9.2||Expected Goals Against||13.4|
|WWDW||Form This Season||DWDWW|
While these two teams have played each other on six occasions in previous campaigns, the tale of the tape has been as even as can be. Atletico has two wins, Porto has two wins, and there have been two draws. For those who are being super pedantic, Porto holds an 8-6 edge in goals scored.
5-3-2 with wing backs.
Actually could see Sérgio lining up like that on Wednesday. https://t.co/70Mphlinfx
— Portista (@FCPortoGlobal) September 12, 2021
And while Madrid has lost six of its past 14 European matches, when it plays at home it has a decisive edge. A 2-1 loss to Chelsea in 2017 is the team’s only loss in its past 29 games at home, with Atletico recording 22 wins and six draws in the other games at the Wanda Metropolitano.
João Félix x Champions League 💫
❝We feed off the fans' passion.❞ pic.twitter.com/gpOxMRGggr
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 13, 2021
Conversely, Porto has not fared overly well in Spain. This is the team’s first game against Spanish opposition since the 2014-15 season, when it beat Athletic Bilbao home and away, with the game in Spain representing the team’s sixth win in 22 attempts, with 14 losses.
Atletico’s Clean Bill Of Health
While Madrid has no injury concerns ahead of Wednesday’s match, it will be without the talents of center back Stefan Savic, who is suspended after his red card in last season’s competition. He will be replaced by Jose Gimenez.
Porto is less fortunate, with goalkeeper Marchesian out following knee surgery, so his spot will go to youngster Diogo Costa, who will make just his second European start for the team.
Best bet: Draw (+270)