Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are off to Romania for the first leg of their Champions League tie, with the teams clashing at Bucharest’s National Arena on Tuesday night. That’s a real leveller in this game between the La Liga leaders and revitalised Blues.
Where and when: National Arena – 23 February, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea: BT Sport
Last time: These clubs last met each other in the group stages of the Champions League in 2017. Chelsea beat Atletico 2-1 in Madrid before a 1-1 draw back in London, as the Blues progressed to the knockout rounds and Los Rojiblancos exited the competition.
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Predictions and Preview
Atletico Madrid and Chelsea have met four times in the Champions League over the last seven years, with none of those matches producing a home win. Both teams have won away from home, with a pair of draws in the other two games. However, that doesn’t help us much this time round, with both of these clubs playing in unfamiliar surroundings on Tuesday night.
Both clubs are in action on Saturday afternoon, prior to making the trip to Bucharest due to ongoing travel restrictions. As it stands, Chelsea will enjoy home advantage in the return leg, so Atletico must treat this tie as a home game as they bid to restrict their opponents building up a lead on away goals.
Diego Simeone’s side have been superb defensively throughout most of this season, building up a commanding lead over Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table. However, Los Rojiblancos drew their second game in three in their last midweek fixture, a game which took them to six matches without a clean sheet.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Both teams not to score
Chelsea to win 1-0
Chelsea to win and under 2.5 goals
Atletico conceded eight goals in their six games prior to a second fixture in a matter of days against Levante on Saturday. That’s as many as the Madrid club let in across their 17 previous matches, so Simeone has some work to do to tighten things back up across his defence.
Opposite number Thomas Tuchel has been doing just that since arriving at Chelsea last month. The German coach reached the Champions League final with Paris Saint-Germain last season, and began his reign at Stamford Bridge with a six-match unbeaten run, ahead of the weekend clash with Southampton.
Incredibly, Chelsea only conceded one goal across those first six games under Tuchel, winning the five most recent of those. The Blues conceded 10 goals in their last seven games under Frank Lampard, with the west London outfit enjoying a significant bounce under their new boss.
This is a big factor in the odds you can get on this Atletico Madrid v Chelsea preview. Despite being in such good shape in La Liga, Atleti are only the narrow favourites for the win on Tuesday. They are 7/4, while Chelsea are 2/1 and the draw is 21/10 with William Hill.
One to watch for Atletico Madrid: Luis Suarez has been excellent since moving to Atletico from Barcelona in the summer. The former Liverpool striker is the top scorer in La Liga and the 4/1 favourite to open the scoring in these Atletico Madrid v Chelsea predictions.
One to watch for Chelsea: Timo Werner finally ended his barren spell in Chelsea’s victory over Newcastle United last week, netting his first Premier League goal since early November. That could spur the German on to big things, and he is 13/2 to break the deadlock with his fourth Champions League goal in his seventh appearance here.
Long shot: Five of the last six meetings between these clubs have seen both teams score. However, the only other first leg of a knockout tie during that run ended goalless. This could be a cagey game, with both teams strong defensively. Atletico have had a few problems at the back recently though, with Chelsea available at 13/2 to win 1-0. With Werner getting the goal, those odds rise to 53/1.