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A cracking contest awaits in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final when Atletico Madrid welcomes Borussia Dortmund to the Wanda Metropolitano for the first leg. 

Both Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund bear a striking resemblance in the fact that they are just a tier below heavyweight rivals in their respective leagues, making this tie a wonderful opportunity for one of them to sustain a fairytale run in the Champions League. 

Atletico and Dortmund have met four times in the UCL and their most recent matchup during the 2018/19 group stage ended in a 2-0 home win for the Spaniards after BVB had already thrashed them 4-0 in the first game. 

The Rojiblancos are bidding to reach their first Champions League semifinal in seven years where a tie against the winner of Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona awaits. Atletico began the 2023-24 season unbeaten in the first three matches until a 3-0 loss at Valencia preceded a frustrating 1-1 draw at Lazion in their UCL opener. 

Those fears were quickly wiped away by a timely victory in the Madrid derby which kickstarted a six-match winning run in all competitions. Celtic then forced ten-man Atleti to a 2-2 draw but they were hit for six in the return game. 

Diego Simeone’s side asserted their top spot in Group E with further victories over Feyenoord and Lazio to advance to a Last 16 encounter with Inter Milan. Meanwhile, results remained steady in the Spanish league and they reached the Copa del Rey semifinal. 

Marko Arnautovic grabbed a deserved winning goal in the away leg of their UCL knockout fixture and although they lost three of the next four matches, Los Colchoneros turned around a two-goal aggregate deficit to force their Round of 16 second leg into extra-time.

After a nerve-wracking penalty shootout, Atleti came out on top to remind the continent of their never-say-die attitude and unique ability to turn around games at this level.

The Spanish capital side currently occupies fourth place in La Liga and they are primed as ever to profit from any opportunities that present themselves in Europe’s premier club competition. 

Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up won the Group of Death containing Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, and Newcastle United before getting past PSV Eindhoven 3-1 on aggregate in the Round of 16. 

Dortmund fans in stadium

Dortmund lost the league title by mere minutes last season and the Black and Yellows got only one point from their first two UCL games against PSG and AC Milan. Despite the rising tensions, 10 points from the last 12 available set them up for the PSV clash while they also steadied in the league. 

Edin Terzic has overseen eight wins and five draws from their last 14 games in all competitions as the team received a boost of quality with the additions of Ian Maatsen and the returning Jadon Sancho.

BVB is now in their first quarterfinal in three seasons with a realistic chance to reach the final four should things go their way. They must exert full attention on this trip to the Spanish capital and will be happy that their home support could come in handy during the decisive leg. 

First, they must ride on more than luck to outwit the European juggernaut that is Atletico and their famously raucous partisan support. It is pertinent that BVB’s best and most experienced players stand up to be counted on the night when getting a result to take home is all that matters. 

Dortmund are 20 points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen and 10 behind the second-placed Bayern Munich. The UCL is a last chance saloon to make something of their season and the less difficult side of the draw could just swing in their favour.

A good number of experienced heads, namely; Marco Reus, Axel Witsel, Emre Can, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule, and Marcel Sabitzer are crucial to raising the standards and concentration levels throughout this tricky tie. 

Simeone’s side are masters of game management and they must be technically, physically, and mentally ready to face this challenge head-on. 

Match tickets

This UEFA Champions League Quarter-final first leg takes place on Wednesday, 10 April 2024 with kick-off scheduled for 8 PM UK time. Match tickets are available for sale on both clubs’ websites with allocation guaranteed for season ticket holders and registered members.

The Wanda Metropolitano crowd will be at their typically noisy and intimidating best to try to affect the game. This first match opens up an interesting tactical matchup between both teams and they are likely to give little away, supporters will be desperate to get a glimpse of the occasion so expect the tickets to be quickly sold out due to high demand. 

Around 70,000 people could be in attendance and those who are still scampering for tickets may be lucky enough to find Atletico Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund tickets on a ticket resale site.   

Team news

Atleti has a growing injury list that includes the likes of Vitolo, Thomas Lemar, Marcos Paulo, Mario Hermoso, Jose Maria Gimenez, and Antoine Griezmann. The latter, however, has a chance to be available to face Dortmund.

The Germans have a lighter crowd in the treatment room with only AFCON winner, Sebastien Haller, currently out through physical discomfort. 


Axel Witsel looks set to play a crucial role against his former team from the center of their back-three, the Belgian must marshall his backline against a very talented attacking side. 

Simeone will surely have an ace or two up his sleeve so expect to see attempts at a game-altering substitution depending on how the game is going. 

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Molina, Hermoso, Savic, Witsel, Samuel Lino; Marcos Llorente, Koke, De Paul; Morata, Griezmann

BVB has built some momentum which they must trust in the stern test at Atleti. The Prussians could decide to match their counterparts’ 3-4-3 shape whilst paying attention to transitions and set-pieces. 

Borussia Dortmund: Kobel; Ryerson, Sule, Hummels, Maatsen; Ozcan, Sabitzer; Malen, Brandt, Sancho; Fullkrug


Atletico Madrid are favourites based on sheer pedigree which they must harness for a key result in the first leg. Nevertheless, Dortmund have also built up their confidence which could just pay off in this massive encounter for the club. 

Over the 90 minutes, the hosts may be out for a win that ensures they travel to Germany with something to hold on to. It could go either way or no way at all and we agree with the latter.

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

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