Preview: Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid, The Blues have one foot in the quarter finals but are Atletico here to spoil the party?
The UEFA Champions League is back with another round of intriguing fixtures this week for a second leg as Chelsea take on La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, with the London giants carrying a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg played in Budapest.
France striker Olivier Giroud scored a spectacular overhead kick at the Puskas Arena to put the The Blues ahead and give them a crucial away goal to play with.
The Madrid giants were not at their best in the group stages of this season’s Champions League and neither were they against the Blues and rightfully paid the price for it.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 13, 2021
Los Rojiblancos have reached two Champions League and three Europa League finals in the last 11 seasons.
Chelsea have shown considerable improvement under the German tactician, but the Blues were held to a 0-0 draw by Leeds United over the weekend and have still plenty of work to do in the final third this season.
Thiago Silva is once again Chelsea’s only major injury concern ahead of Atletico Madrid’s trip to Stamford Bridge. He had returned to training but apparently has had a reoccurrence of the injury he suffered earlier.
Midfielders Mason Mount and Jorginho are suspended for the clash after picking up a yellow card each in the first leg.
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell; Werner, Giroud, Havertz
Atletico Madrid on the other hand have a clean bill of health after returns of Jose Gimenez and Kieran Trippier from injury and suspension respectively.
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup: Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso; Trippier, Llorente, Koke, Saul, Carrasco; Felix, Suarez
Luis Suarez has continued to shine for Diego Simeone and he would be key to any comeback Atletico Madrid would be targeting against Chelsea.
Top performers for Atletico Madrid have been, Luis Suarez 18 goals 2 assists, Marcos Liorente 9 goaals 8 assists and Joao Felix 7 goals 4 assists.
— FootTheBall (@FootTheBall) March 9, 2021
Mason Mount has been influential for Chelsea under both Lampard and Tuchel. But with him being suspended for the 2nd leg, it would be up to the recent emergence of Kai Havertz to produce some magic for the Blues on Wednesday night.
Top performers for Chelsea have been, Tammy Abraham 12 goals 6 assist, Timo Werner 10 goals 9 assists and Giroud 11 goals.
Atletico Madrid have struggled of late to get a hold on their opponents or even kill the game. Los Rojiblancos have even been defensively shaky, which they’re usually so good at under Diego Simeone.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are on a fine run of form and are unbeaten ever since Thomas Tuchel took over. FootTheBall predicted this game to end all square in the 1st leg, but to the London giants joy, Tuchel had many tricks up his sleeve and ended up winning the away leg.
The Atleti way.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 13, 2021
Chelsea are in the better form coming into the tie, but Atletico are notoriously difficult to break down.
With key defenders Jose Gimenez and Kieran Trippier back in the team for the Spanish capital side, the away side should have more than enough to hold the Blues to a low scoring draw; which obviously would not be enough for them to go through. FootTheBall says, Chelsea 1-1 Atletico Madrid.