A titanic tussle of epic proportions.
When the reigning champions of Italy and Spain come out to the roaring Juventus Stadium crowd come Tuesday evening, both sides will be focused on gaining a positive result.
A victory or draw for Atletico Madrid will see them win Group A and bag a so-called ‘easier draw’ in the knockout phase but a triumph for Juventus by a two-goal margin would allow them to leapfrog Diego Simeone’s men into top spot subject to the head-to-head rule.
And goals could be the deciding factor when William Collum’s final whistle sounds at around 22.30 CET.
Here’s a quick look at both sides’ scoring patterns in the league and Europe’s elite competition thus far this season, with a particular focus on tomorrow night’s Spanish opponents.
Champions League goals
• Gigi Buffon and his team-mates will have to limit last season’s beaten finalists to shots from distance. Atletico Madrid are deadly from within the 18-yard box: all 14 of their goals this campaign have come inside the opposition area.
• Los Rojiblancos have not scored from either a free-kick or penalty so far this Champions League campaign.
• La Liga’s third-placed side grow as the game wears on – nine of their 14 strikes arrive within the final half-hour of European matches.
On the other hand:
• Juventus have scored two goals from as many free-kicks (Carlos Tevez’s strike versus Malmo and Andrea Pirlo’s set-piece against Olympiacos) as well as five from open play.
• In the five Champions League fixtures contested so far, the Bianconeri take time to get a foothold in the game and have not scored during the first 15 minutes of any tie this 2014/15 campaign.
• Twenty-seven strikes in their 14 domestic matches so far have propelled Simeone’s men into third position in Spain’s top flight. Twenty-four have come from within the opponents’ six-yard area, two from outside the box and a solitary finish from the penalty spot.
• Los Rojiblancos are set-piece specialists in the league – 17 of their 27 goals have either come from corners or indirect free-kicks.
• As the old adage goes, getting a goal before the break is always the best time to score – the La Liga reigning champions have struck on eight occasions as the half-time whistle approaches whereas only five goals have arrived during the final quarter-hour.
• If we were to distribute Atletico's goals over a 15-minute period, it would read 4-4-8 in the first half and 4-2-5 in the second half.
• Massimiliano Allegri’s men have bagged 30 strikes so far this Serie A campaign with nine of those coming from distance.
• Almost a quarter of Juventus’ league goals have come from set-pieces – four penalties and three from corners.
• The Bianconeri prefer scoring during the second period – 3-6-4 are their goals over the first of three 15-minute intervals whilst 4-7-6 is the figure following half-time.