Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid preview, betting tips and prediction: Simeone's men to slip out despite possible result in London
The Draw @ 12/5 with Coral
Draw HT/Atletico Madrid FT @ 7/1 with Coral
Atletico Madrid to win and under 2.5 goals @ 13/2 with Coral
Group C in the Champions League has this year been rather strange. There are three very talented, impressive sides in there, in Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Roma, and one whom everyone should beat, Qarabag. All three of the main teams have had one side they have struggled against. Atleti had a hold on Roma, hence the reason they are still not out of the race for the knockout stages despite only winning once, but Chelsea have failed against the Giallorossi.
While Atletico lost at home to the Blues earlier in the campaign, it was their successive failures to beat Qarabag that has really cost them. Now they will be hoping for a favour from the winless Azerbaijani minnows as they face Roma, otherwise even a win at Stamford Bridge won’t be enough.
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We can see this one going either way, but the added need for points will mean Atletico will be extra intense. That could be too much for Antonio Conte’s men to handle.
As mentioned in the intro, both these sides have had their troubles in the group. Chelsea got off to a flying start by hammering Qarabag 6-0 at home before that mightily impressive win in the first ever Champions League match at the Wanda Metropolitano on matchday 2. But a 3-3 draw and a disastrous 3-0 defeat to Roma put them under pressure, but they eased it with another comfortable win, this time in Azerbaijan. The group is not yet won, but avoiding defeat against Atletico should be enough because of goal difference. They are unbeaten in seven games since that humiliation at the Stadio Olimpico, winning six of them. Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata have really begun to click, but Atletico’s defence is renowned for being solid.
Atletico, funnily enough, were unlucky not to beat Roma on opening night and had led against Chelsea. But early cracks were ripped open by successive draws with Qarabag. It has been a tough season for Simeone’s men domestically, too, with a six point gap opening up between them in third and Barcelona at the top of LaLiga. Yet they are unbeaten and are still not conceding many, but with six draws from 14 games goals have been a real issue. That was the trouble against Qarabag and that is why we are backing a low-scoring game.
Chelsea welcomed Victor Moses back into the side for Saturday’s 3-1 win over Newcastle, meaning Antonio Conte shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to team selection for this game. David Luiz did miss out through injury and has not featured since the defeat in Rome. Andreas Christensen will continue to partner Gary Cahill at the back.
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Juanfran has been missing with a hamstring issue for Atletico recently, though he should return to fitness for this game. He could be on the bench, with Thomas Partey continuing in his place at right-back.