Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea – Champions League Preview – Chelsea face their toughest test of the season on Wednesday, as they take a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano. Atletico will be hoping for their first win of the Group Stages, to draw level on points with Antonio Conte’s side.
Having romped home to a 6-0 victory against Qarabag last time out, Chelsea couldn’t be facing more contrasting opponents. Atletico have reached three of the last four semi-finals in the Champions League, including two finals. There are few harder tasks than a trip away to Diego Simeone’s men, and Chelsea will have to be at their very best to get a result.
Chelsea fans will be hoping to see Eden Hazard start. The Belgian was only on the bench during their 4-0 win against Stoke, despite starting in midweek against Nottingham Forest. As Hazard builds up his match sharpness, fans will have to remain patient, but it won’t be long before their number ten is back in the starting eleven. If they are to get a positive result from a trip to one of Europe’s elite, they’ll need him fit and firing.
Alvaro Morata will be hoping to impress on his first return to Spain since leaving Real Madrid in the summer. The Spaniard has six goals this season already, and bagged a hattrick at the weekend at the Bet365 Stadium. Filling the shoes of Diego Costa was a task that very few would have envied, but if his early season form is anything to go by, Morata is managing the task just fine.
In La Liga, Atletico have got off to a good start. They currently sit second in the table, with four wins and two draws from their opening six matches. Having won their last three games, Simeone’s men are gathering momentum, and that’s largely thanks to star man Antione Griezmann. The French striker has two goals in his last three games, and has started the season in his usual majestic form. Since returning from suspension after his opening day red card, Griezmann has been influential in Atletico’s serge up the table, if not scoring, then assisting for team mates.
The last time these two sides met was the semi-final of this competition in 2014. Atletico won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to take them through to the final, where they would be later defeated 4-1 by Real. Having met only five times in Europe, Chelsea have only won once, back in 2009. Since then, two draws have been sandwiched in between Atletico victories, giving them a good record ahead of this game.
I think this will be a very tight game, with both sides renowned for their defensive prowess. With Conte going away from home, I think he will set up to try and snatch a point, and it’ll be down to Atletico to break Chelsea down. As a result, I’m going for a score draw, but don’t be surprised if this one finishes goalless.
Prediction: Atletico 1-1 Chelsea
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