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Journalist predicts which striker Atletico Madrid will start vs. Man United

Manchester United are set to travel to Spain for a Champions League knockout first leg tie against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

After topping Group F, the Red Devils will now face Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in what should be a hugely challenging round of 16 fixture.

On current form, interim manager Ralf Rangnick will fancy his side’s chances – especially considering Wednesday’s opponents have won just two of their last four matches, in all competitions.

Taking the La Liga champions for granted would be a mistake though.

Despite the competition’s away goal rule recently being scrapped, United will still be hoping to find the back of the net at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, but it won’t be easy given how defensively resolute Simeone’s Colchoneros are.

Read more: Inter Milan identify Man United attacker as Alexis Sanchez replacement

When it comes to the other end of the pitch, Atletico Madrid will pose their own threat – especially with a strikeforce containing the likes of Joao Felix, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Angel Correa.

Antoine Griezmann (left) and Luis Suarez (right) in action for Atletico Madrid.

However, because Simeone often deploys a more traditional 4-4-2 formation, fans are unlikely to see all of their attacking talents on display at once and that will likely mean that either Griezmann or Suarez will miss out on a starting place on Wednesday.

One person who believes he knows which number nine Simeone won’t start with against United is Spanish footballing expert Terry Gibson.

Speaking recently about how Atletico Madrid’s front line could look mid-week (as quoted by MEN), Gibson said: “I don’t think [Antoine] Griezmann will start. He has been missing for quite a while through injury and it was a bit of a surprise he was back on the bench [against Osasuna] and he still didn’t come on. I don’t think it’s conceivable that he will play.

“Suarez got a fantastic goal on Saturday and is still a deadly finisher, but he doesn’t give you anything else.”

Wednesday night’s match is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m (UK time) and will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

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