Atletico Madrid v City: UEFA Youth League preview
- 25 February 2014 11:49
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
The first-team aren’t the only City side travelling to Spain aiming to reach the quarter-finals of a continental competition...
Patrick Vieira’s under-19s also have important last 16 business to attend to as City have been drawn away to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday night.
Knockout ties in the tournament are played on a one-off basis and, due to the fact that the Blues finished as runners-up in Group D, they’ve been handed a tricky away tie in the Spanish capital.
It’s a marker of the low average age of the group that most of the players who have appeared in the under-21 league have been available for selection in this inaugural year of the under-19 UEFA Youth League.
Vieira’s men secured qualification for the last 16 of the competition on the final match day with a draw against Bayern Munich in Germany to finish off an impressive group stage campaign which saw them score 15 goals in six games and lose just one match.
City had beaten Bayern 6-0 in the home clash and they also defeated Viktoria Plzen twice and drew with CSKA Moscow in Russia in their route to the knockout stages.
Vieira revealed his pride at the group’s achievements in the post-match interview after that draw in Munich.
“I really think that we deserved to go to the second round,” Vieira reflected.
“I am so proud of the boys; they played so well and deserve this success.”
...Patrick Vieira - Head of City EDS...
Atletico Madrid under-19s negotiated their way through Group G which also included Zenit, Austria Vienna and FC Porto.
The Spanish side finished top of the group with 13 points from their six games, which were picked up courtesy of four wins, a draw and a solitary defeat.
Their dangerman is considered to be their striker Ivi who was their top-scorer in qualification with four goals, but the Blues will also have to be wary of Roberto Nunez and Hector Hernandez who both scored three times.
They are managed by a former Atletico player in Roberto Fresnedoso, the Spanish midfielder who made more than 130 appearances for the club between 1995 and 2002.
Like the first-team, Atletico are a proactive side who like to play on the front foot but a possible chink in their armour could be their defence.
Los Colchoneros may have scored a whopping 17 goals in qualifying, two more than City, but they conceded 14, which is 10 more than Vieira’s men let in.
The match will be played on Wednesday night at the Ciudad Deportiva Cerro Del Espino in Majadahonda at 8pm local time (7pm UK)
The winners will take on Benfica or Austria Vienna at home in the last eight.
We’ll have live Twitter updates from the game, as well as a match report and highlights on the site after the game.