Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid (ATL) will host Manchester United (MUN) in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League 2021-22 round of 16 tie at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in the early hours of Thursday, February 24. The match will kick off at 1:30 AM IST.

ATL vs MUN Dream11 prediction 

Despite being heavyweights of European football, both Atletico and Manchester United have struggled for results this season. The former began their UCL 2021-22 campaign with a 0-0 draw with FC Porto and won just two of their six group stage games while going on a three-match losing streak.

United, on the other hand, topped their group but recent struggles in defence has been a major cause of worry. The Red Devils opened the scoring in each of their last five games across all competitions but have settled for a draw in two of them besides suffering an early exit from the FA Cup against Middlesbrough on penalties.

Given the stuttering form these two teams are in, it is safe to say that the upcoming match at Wanda Metropolitano might end in a draw.

ATL vs MUN Dream11 team tips for UEFA Champions League 2021-22

Top tip: Best forward

Cristiano Ronaldo may have struggled to get goals this season but the fact remains that he loves playing against Atletico Madrid. The Portugal captain has faced Colchoneros more than any other team in his career - 31 times - and has scored 25 goals, including four hat-tricks and nine assists during those outings. Ronaldo, in fact, ended Atletico’s Champions League run on five occasions between 2014 and 2019 while playing for Real Madrid and Juventus.

Top tip: Best midfielder

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes is yet to score a goal in the Champions League this term, but the Portugal attacking midfielder has managed to provide six assists. After a slump in form midway through the season, the 27-year-old has returned to his usual best, scoring two goals and providing an assist in his last two league games. It’s all but certain that he will play an important role on Thursday against Atletico.

Top tip: Best defender and goalkeeper

Picking out a defender for this fixture could be a tricky proposition as both managers will look to rotate their players. Hence, picking MUN’s Diogo Dalot could prove to be a masterstroke as the Portugal full-back didn’t feature against Leeds United in the Premier League. Given his style of play, he is expected to play a substantial role in United’s attacks and could perhaps even notch an assist.

For a goalkeeper, Manchester United’s David De Gea remains the outright pick. The Spain international is set to feature against his former team for the first time since leaving in 2011 and will hope to return with a clean sheet, which is possible considering Atletico aren't renowned for being heavy goal-scorers.

ATL vs MUN probable playing XI

ATL playing XI (probable): Jan Oblak (goalkeeper); Sime Vrsaljko, Stefan Savic, Felipe, Reinildo Mandava; Marcos Llorente, Hector Herrera, Koke (captain), Geoffrey Kondogbia; Joao Felix, Angel Correa

MUN playing XI (probable): David de Gea (goalkeeper); Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire (captain), Alex Telles; Fred, Paul Pogba; Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Cristiano Ronaldo

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Featured photo: AFP / Jose Jordan