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UCL: Owen Backs Atletico Over Man United In First Leg Tie

UCL: Owen Backs Atletico Over Man United In First Leg Tie

Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen has tipped Atletico Madrid to overcome the Red Devils in their Champions League round of 16 first leg meeting in Spain on Wednesday.

United are seeded in the last 16 after topping their group ahead of Villarreal, Atalanta and Young Boys, but the prospect of a knockout tie against Atletico Madrid isn’t the easiest.

LaLiga champions Atletico are not having the best of seasons domestically, sitting outside the top four, and their seven group stage points represents the lowest total of any team still in the Champions League.

Still, Owen is reluctant to write off a team with solid pedigree in Europe, with two Champions League finals under their belt since current manager Diego Simeone took charge.

“This is an interesting one,” Owen told BetVictor ahead of the game.

“Atletico have had a strange season and have underperformed. Defensively, they’ve had lots of issues, which is unheard of for a Diego Simeone side.

“I would never rule them out in these big games though, particularly at home, and I know Simeone will have his side really up for this one.

“As for United, they got the win at Leeds at the weekend but again, there’s issues at the back.

“In these high-intensity matches, are United physically good enough against the top sides? I have my doubts.

“I can see Atletico edging this, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Luis Suarez got a goal. I don’t think there will be much between these two in both games, but I can see Atletico taking a narrow lead to Manchester.”

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