Chelsea go into the second leg of this Champions League last-16 clash with Atletico Madrid in a strong position. The task is simple for Thomas Tuchel’s Blues; avoid defeat and they will be in the draw for the quarter-finals on Friday.
Where and when: Stamford Bridge – 17 March, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid: BT Sport
Last time: Olivier Giroud’s acrobatic overhead kick handed Chelsea a 1-0 victory in the first leg of this tie three weeks ago.
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid Predictions and Preview
Given Chelsea’s dramatic defensive improvement since Tuchel took charge at Stamford Bridge towards the end of January, the Blues will be full of confidence taking a 1-0 lead into the second leg of this last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid. The visitors are no mugs though, and have proven their quality in the Champions League over recent years.
Atletico have reached the final of this competition twice in the last seven seasons, adding a semi-final and two quarter-final appearances to that. Top of La Liga ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona with only 11 matches left to play coming into this game, Los Rojiblancos have suffered a blip of late though.
Diego Simeone has seen his side bounce back from a run of only one win in five games in all competitions, winning two of their three games ahead of Saturday’s trip to Getafe, conceding late on to draw the Madrid derby in the other. Atleti are usually strong defensively though and will do their best to allow Chelsea the ball and bide their time in this match.
Indeed, Atletico were happy to cede possession in the first leg, enjoying only 41% of the ball and completing almost half the passes managed by their visitors. Chelsea will be buoyed by their performance at the Wanda Metropolitano, where their passing accuracy was far superior to Atletico as they netted a valuable away goal.
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Draw and under 2.5 goals
Suarez to score first
The game plan will be clear for Tuchel, who reached the Champions League final as Paris Saint-Germain coach last season. The German tactician guided his new team to nine clean sheets in his first 11 games in charge, conceding only a goal apiece in a victory over Sheffield United and a draw at Southampton.
The home team don’t need a win in this Chelsea v Atletico Madrid preview in order to progress, but they are the 6/5 favourites to get one inside 90 minutes with William Hill anyway. Atletico are priced at 45/17, while you can back the draw on Wednesday at 12/5.
A stalemate would be enough to send Chelsea through, with the Blues 6/19 to qualify for the quarter-finals. Atleti are 10/3 for the same bet, while a 1-0 victory for Los Rojiblancos would send the game to extra-time with the potential for penalties. That eventuality is 8/1. This tie is 14/1 to be settled in extra-time and 18/1 on penalties, while you can back both teams at 33/1 to win on spot kicks.
One to watch for Chelsea: Mason Mount has been excellent in recent games, scoring the only goal away to Liverpool the other week and also netting crucial strikes against Southampton and Sheffield United. The English attacker is 8/1 to open the scoring in these Chelsea v Atletico Madrid predictions.
One to watch for Atletico Madrid: Luis Suarez is second only to Lionel Messi in the La Liga scoring charts this season. The Uruguay striker is yet to score in five Champions League appearances so far this term though, and he is 5/1 to put that right by breaking the deadlock on Wednesday night.
Long shot: There hasn’t been a home win in the last six Champions League meetings between these clubs, with Atletico scoring four times on their last two visits to Stamford Bridge, conceding two. Los Rojiblancos are 12/1 to win 2-1, a result which would take them through on away goals. Those odds rise to 71/1 with Suarez scoring first.