The Champions League semifinals start this Wednesday for Atlético Madrid and Bayern Munich, that are set to clash in what promises to be a spectacular two-game matchup. The two coaches are probably the best tacticians in the world today, and will bring their best game plans to Vicente Calderón.
Their choice of starting lineup is obviously huge, and here's an idea of which 22 players we'll see on Wednesday.
Atlético Madrid (4-4-2)
Juanfran - Giménez - Lucas - Luís
Saúl - Augusto - Gabi - Koke
Griezmann - Torres
Diego Simeone has very good and very bad news in his first leg lineup. First, the bad news: Diego Godín was unable to recover from a hamstring injury suffered last week and will not be in uniform at Calderón. The Uruguayan is a huge absence for El Cholo, who has to deal with one of the best scoring teams in Europe. José Giménez is healthy again, and should be a competent replacement to his national teammate, but without Godín, Atléti may suffer heavily at home.
Now, the good news: Fernando Torres is back. Yes, this is good news. The striker is playing the best football of his second stint with the Colchoneros and has become a vital piece of the offensive system. After missing the second leg of the quarterfinals against Barcelona because of a red card suspension, but is back and certain to start the match alongside Antoine Griezmann. Saúl Ñíguez and Koke will be huge on the flanks to defend against Bayern's insanely talented wingers and also to create chances via counter-attacks.
Yannick Carrasco is a wildcard and could start either on the wings or up front, but because of an ankle issue, the Belgian might stay on the bench and be saved for the second half.
Bayern Munich (4-1-4-1)
Lahm - Kimmich - Martínez - Alaba
Costa - Müller - Vidal - Ribéry
Predicting the starting lineup of Pep Guardiola's Bayern is the hardest task of any football fan. Not only does Pep have a ridiculously deep squad with exceptional talent across the board, the best coach in the world can use various players in various positions, altering their tactical instructions throughout the game. We know Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa, Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski are going to play since they're the most important players on the team, but all of them could play in different places depending on Pep's game plan.
Franck Ribéry and Kingsley Coman fight for a place alongside Costa on the wings, and Thiago Alcântara has a good chance of starting because of his passing ability since we're likely to watch a game in which Bayern are going to dominate ball possession even more than their usual standards. Along with Thiago, Juan Bernat and Coman are other candidates to start if Guardiola decides to pick a different lineup than what we're predicting.
Just thinking about the lineups and tactics gets me excited already. This will be a sensational football match.