CL Preview : Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea
Posted by betabonus on Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Chelsea eye second big Champions League win, against Atletico Madrid
Chelsea turn their attention to Champions League on Wednesday night as they play away at Atletico Madrid in their second Group C fixture.
The Blues shrugged off doubts to become serious title contenders in Premier League having won four out of the five recent games after losing at home to Burnley. They managed to complete the turn-around with huge wins over Qarabag FK and Nottingham Forest. In Atletico, however, they have an opponent who will prove their biggest test so far.
Los Rojiblancos had an underwhelming result in their opening Champions League fixture as they drew 0-0 with third-placed AS Roma. Their La Liga campaign, on the other hand, has been significantly better as they sit second – behind Barcelona – having never lost a game until now. They’ll look to keep up their unbeaten run intact at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, as Diego Simeone looks to win every trophy there is to win.
With both Chelsea and Atletico touted to qualify ahead of Roma and Qarabag, one can expect a humdinger of a game between these two side at the Spanish capital; however, the limelight will be on controversial striker Diego Costa heading into the game given his summer tantrums and the recent deal between Chelsea and Atletico that will see him don the white and red shirt come January.
Another former Atletico man, Thibaut Courtois, however, will look to ensure the buzz doesn’t begin and end with the Brazil-born Spanish forward, as he, despite a nasty collision with Gary Cahill and Peter Crouch at Stoke City last weekend, looks to ward off Antoine Griezmann and co.’s efforts. Returning to the starting line-up will be David Luiz, who missed the rout of the Potters through suspension. Pedro, who knows a thing or two about defeating Atletico, is in contention to make his return as he’s set to undergo a late fitness test. Summer signing Daniel Drinkwater remains the only injured player and isn’t expected to return at least until mid-October.
Antonio Conte has an almost full-strength squad and will likely bank on former Real Madrid striker Antonio Morata to unsettle the Atletico defence that has conceded a measly four goals in seven games so far. Atletico’s Simeone, however, will be wary of Chelsea’s impeccable defensive record that has seen them concede only seven goals in nine games.
Chelsea’s scoring record is even more impressive as they have scored 24 goals, averaging 2.67 goals per game this season. Atletico, on the other hand, have struggled to find the back of the net as they have scored only half as many goals as Chelsea have done in seven games so far. The numbers, however, mean little on Champions League nights, so one can expect Chelsea can very well leave Spain empty-handed with Atletico marauding the Chelsea defence.
One may be tempted to place a bet on a Chelsea win, given their form but, English club’s performances against top Spanish and German sides should give enough reasons for them to go all in on a win for the home side.