Manchester United will have to oust Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals, following UEFA’s re-draw.
Unlike the Reds, the reigning La Liga champions secured their place in Monday’s last-16 draw, in their final group game.
The two matches against Los Colchoneros are likely to be tight and the tie could be decided by the finest of margins.
Simeone’s successful tenure in the Spanish capital has been built around his side’s robustness and organisation.
Likely to sit back and frustrate Ralf Rangnick’s side, space is probably going to be a premium against the Argentine’s team.
In the German’s two Premier League games so far, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles have been Rangnick’s favoured full-back options.
Both capable of whipping in tantalising crosses from the wide areas, their roles could be crucial in breaking down a combative Atletico side.
However, if Simeone had his way, Telles could have been lining up for Atletico and not United ahead of the forthcoming two-legged tie.
Simeone targeted Telles signing
In April 2019, the Mail reported that Telles was discussing a potential £35m move from Porto to Atletico.
The Mail stated that Telles’ blend of defensive qualities and being an attacking, creative force ‘appealed’ to Simeone, who was looking to improve his options down the left.
However, a move didn’t materialise for the Brazilian international and the left-back signed for Manchester United 18 months later, in a £13.6m (BBC Sport) deal.
The 29-year-old has started the last four Premier League games, which is his longest run of starts in the top-flight, since joining the club.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani’s predatory movement inside the penalty area likely to be pivotal in getting past Simeone’s men, Telles’ crossing ability from the left-hand side could prove crucial in supplying our legendary forwards with the chances.
Telles may not be in control of the left-back spot come the first leg in two months time, but if he is still favoured ahead of Luke Shaw, Simeone could be left rueing missing out on a player who he wanted to bring to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
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