Champions League Odds: Rangnick – United must want it more than Atletico

Rangnick braced for derby challenge

The pair are tied at 1-1 in their Champions League last-16 showdown following last month’s first leg in Madrid, a match in which the German coach said his side did “everything wrong” in the first half.

That helped Atleti take the lead through Joao Felix before Anthony Elanga equalised late on.

United’s performances have been inconsistent since Rangnick took temporary charge in November, but they showed more freedom and flair in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Tottenham.

The 63-year-old says the determination demonstrated against Spurs is what his players will need again when they take on the famously fiercely competitive Spanish champions.

“Well, in the end, obviously it’s about what kind of level of emotions are we going to play, it’s about desire again,” he told the club’s website. “In the end, we showed against Tottenham that the desire on our end, it was slightly bigger and higher than Tottenham and that was why we could decide the game for ourselves at the end.

“Against Atletico, it’s even more important as one of their biggest strengths is the way that they play, their aggressive approach they play and the high level of emotions, which is why we have to be better in this area than them.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo (9/5 Anytime Scorer), who netted a hat-trick against Tottenham, is expected to be joined in the United starting line-up by the returning Bruno Fernandes, while Scott McTominay is also back available.

Tuesday’s other game sees four-time winners Ajax take on two-time champions Benfica (Match Result – Ajax 4/11, Draw 9/2, Benfica 7/1).

The duo drew 2-2 in Lisbon, with Sebastien Haller (8/11 Anytime Scorer) scoring both an own goal and at the right end.

Haller has been a revelation since moving to Amsterdam in January 2021 and his 11 goals in this season’s Champions League place him just one behind the tournament’s top scorer, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

Speaking to the press ahead of the match, the Frenchman admitted he is enjoying his form after a tough spell in England with West Ham and is ready to fire his side towards the quarter-finals.

“It will be a great match,” he told reporters. “Benfica also likes to attack and plays a bit like us. Looking at myself, I’m happy right now. I score a lot, I am important and I can help the team.”

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Author: Lucas Carlson