Atleti take a trip to Russia after winning 7-1 at the weekend, including a hat-trick and two assists from Yannick Carrasco. The victory put them top in Spain, where they're still undefeated and have allowed only three goals. Victory in this match, would likewise keep them top of their group and virtually guarantee them safe passage to the knockout round. Despite Franck Ribery claiming to be unimpressed by Antoine Griezmann, his numbers speak for themselves - the Frenchman has six goals in his last seven matches and will garner plenty of attention from Rostov. The Russian side sit in fifth in the Russian Premier League and have lost three of their last six in all competitions. They're searching for creative might outside of winger Dmitiri Polov, who has three goals and three assists this season. Despite the over 2,000 mile trip, Atletico will be confident of coming home with all three points.
The Russian side are getting one hell of an introduction to the Champions League in their first year in the competition - a group featuring Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven. But, you’d imagine their fans will be buzzing to welcome that trio to the 15,000 seater Olimp-2 stadium. The western Russia-based club are experiencing the best period in their 86 year history, winning the Russian Cup in 2014 and finishing as runners-up in the Russian Premier League last year after nearly being relegated the season prior. Over the summer they locked down their top scorer from last season, Sardar Azmoun, who was previously on loan. Realistically, being on this stage is an incredible achievement for Rostov and any results are an added bonus.
Last season’s Champions League proved to be heartbreak again for Atletico as they were runners-up to rivals Real Madrid for the second time in three years. The momentum should continue for Atleti, however, as manager Diego Simeone has stayed put. Also committing themselves to the Vicente Calderon is star French forward Antoine Greizmann, who will be joined in attack with the formidable options of Fernando Torres, Kevin Gamiero, Saul, Yannick Carrasco and Nicolas Gaitan, among others. Combine that with a stern defense and Atletico Madrid are no longer relative surprise finalists, but one of the favorites. We’ll be treated to a matchup against Bayern, but with PSV Eindhoven and Rostov rounding out the group, Atleti should make it out comfortably.
The 21 year old Iranian international has scored 15 goals in 20 appearances for his country.
The squad’s captain has played over 195 matches for Rostov and was the Moldovan footballer of the year in 2013.
Was named player of the tournament at Euro 2016, scoring six goals and adding two assists in seven games.
The rock at the heart of Atleti's defense has played over 180 matches for Los Rojiblancos.