Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-Ups + Predicted Score
Chelsea are in Spain to take on Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon this evening. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-ups and predicted score.
Chelsea are in Spain to take on Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon this evening in the first leg of their Champions League semi final clash.
The Blues were pushed all the way in the quarter finals, needing a late Demba Ba strike to seal a 2-0 second leg win over Paris Saint-Germain and see the West Londoners through on away goals.
Jose Mourinho will be looking to go one step closer to becoming the first manager in history to win the European Cup as a manager with three different clubs having already lifted the trophy with Porto and Inter Milan.
However, while their quest for European glory is still on track, Chelsea’s hopes of winning the Premier League suffered a devastating blow with a shock 2-1 defeat to Sunderland on Saturday night at Stamford Bridge.
They now trail leaders Liverpool by five points heading into Sunday’s crucial clash at Anfield, so Mourinho is likely to view the Champions League as his priority and best chance of lifting silverware this season.
While Chelsea may have been relieved to avoid Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the draw, they will face an Atletico side that are currently four-points clear at the top the La Liga table, so the Blues will know they have a huge task on their hands.
Diego Simone’s side are the only unbeaten team remaining in the Champions League having cruised through the group stages, before thrashing AC Milan 5-1 in the last 16 and edging out Barcelona 2-1 in the quarters.
Chelsea will have to make-do without the services of striker Samuel Eto’o after he was left in London with a minor knee injury that he picked up against Sunderland on Saturday.
Demba Ba is pushing for a start after scoring two in his last three game, but Mourinho is expected to hand Fernando Torres a start against his former club.
Eden Hazard missed training on Monday but has travelled with the rest of the squad despite suffering a calf injury against PSG two weeks ago.
Petr Cech is also in the squad after recovering from illness that kept him out at the weekend, but Branislav Ivanovic is suspended meaning Ashley Cole should come in on the left with Cesar Azpilicueta reverting to right-back.
Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible having already played in the competition for their previous clubs.
Atletico have been boosted by the return of winger Arda Turan – who has recovered from a groin injury that’s kept him out over the past few weeks. He could come straight back in for Raul Garcia on the right wing.
On-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been cleared to line-up against his parent club after UEFA insisted it was against their rules to prevent him playing.
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Chelsea: Atletico have been hugely impressive this season, particularly at home, so we can see them edging this one but feel Chelsea might grab that all-important away goal ahead of the second leg at the Bridge next week.
What team would you play and what’s your predicted score? Share your thoughts below…
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