On one hand - it looks like a serious uphill battle for The Foxes. In the first leg, they didn’t manage a shot on target and will now need to stop Atletico without the suspended Robert Huth and potentially without Wes Morgan, who only started training with the squad on Monday. But, within Leicester’s ongoing world of miracles, this seems like an entirely possible occasion for another. Down only a single goal (due to a wrongly-awarded penalty), a 2-0 home win would see them through. The trick will be in holding back one of Europe’s most dangerous counter attacking sides, who will be content to soak up pressure, making Leicester’s own options to counter more rare. From a neutral’s perspective, a Leicester side in search of goals, as they were in the second leg against Sevilla at home, should make this match the one to watch. Antoine Griezmann, who may find himself in England full-time next season with either Manchester United or Chelsea, was rested over the weekend, giving Atleti fresh legs to spring on the counter. Real Madrid v. Bayern may be where the biggest stars are, but this is your best chance to witness history.
Last year’s improbable season gives Leicester a chance to prove themselves at the highest possible level (sorry, World Cup). While it would be foolish to discount their chances, competing in the Champions League in addition to defending their Premier League title and playing in two domestic cups is a tall order for any club - let alone one that was built a year ago for one purpose: avoiding relegation. The Foxes managed to hold onto the talent they need to get out of the group stage, the question is whether they have to squad depth to compete on multiple fronts.
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.
Vardy scored in 11 consecutive matches last season, a Premier League record.
The Dane kept 15 clean sheets in the EPL last season.
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.