What can Borussia Dortmund expect from Atletico Madrid?

Borussia Dortmund will face Atletico Madrid for a spot in the UEFA Champions League semifinals, but what can Edin Terzic's side expect from the Colchoneros?
Atletico Madrid v FC Internazionale: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Atletico Madrid v FC Internazionale: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
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Why is Atletico Madrid such a menacing side to face?

The 2023/24 Atlético Madrid campaign has on face value been underwhelming so far, but they remain one of the most organised teams in Europe. Diego Simeone's tactical approach, summed up by his players' fighting spirit, is a combination that challenges even the best teams in the continent.

Even though Atletico are currently fourth in La Liga, their performances in cup competitions this season has caught a lot of eyes. They made the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, claiming a statement 4-2 win against arch-rivals Real Madrid in the round of 16.

In the Champions League, Atletico won their group with four wins, before eliminating last season's finalists Inter Milan in the round of 16.

Despite Inter's attacking prowess and Serie A form, Atletico managed to hold them to a one-goal advantage at the San Siro, before orchestrating a comeback 2-1 win at the Metropolitano, qualifying on penalties.

That comeback was due to Simeone's use of his wingers and the midfield's hard work to support their most important players up front.

At the back, a centre-back trio maintains a solid structure for Jan Oblak, who is one of the most underrated goalkeepers in world football. At the base of the back-line, Axel Witsel, a former BVB star, plays the role of a hybrid CB/CDM responsible for dictating the build-up.

Further up the pitch, the hard-working trio of Rodrigo De Paul, Marcos Llorente, and Koke is crucial for this team to function. They are responsible for simultaneously occupying the middle to making it harder for opponents to find passing lanes and structuring a combative defensive unit. Offensively, Koke plays as an organising regista while the other two have more liberty to support attacks, especially in the half-spaces.

The wing-backs provide depth to attacks but with distinct characteristics. While Nahuel Molina is a classic right wing-back who attempts to find good crosses from the touchline, Samu Lino is a winger prototype with good shooting and dribbling ability to attack through different lanes.

At last, Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann complement each other very well as a duo. The former is a typical number 9 who, despite some criticism over the years, is in great shape, scoring five goals in five starts in the Champions League this season. The latter is the engine that makes Atletico tick, and there are a few ways they might try to hurt Dortmund.