The first of the two games that will give us the name of one finalist of this years’ UEFA Champions League will see a new deal between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea :
Last time these two clubs played against each other, the Blues were blown away by Radamel Falcao. Columbian striker scored a hat – trick and led Los Colchoneros to 4:1 victory in the European Super Cup final. Although many of those players will feature tonight, now the stake is higher and everyone will try to overcome themselves in order to earn place in the most important game in this season for European clubs.
Atletico will host their rivals in outstanding form and mood – they are on top of La Liga, ahead of the Real Madrid and Barcelona. Also, they are unbeaten at home (15-3-0) with an outstanding goal difference (48:9) and they are an only undefeated side in Champions League (5-1-0 in the group stage, 3-1-0 in knock-out phase). When we add the fact they scored 109 goals this season in all competitions (Villa – 13 goals, Costa – 29 goals, Koke – 6 goals, 13 assists), Chelsea will face a real test in this game.
On the other side, Chelsea travels to Spain after a stunning defeat at home to a bottom-placed Sunderland. The title race in Premier League seems to be over for them, so they will probably shift their focus on the Champions League.
The Blues will be without suspended Ivanovic and injured Hazard, along with Champions League unavailable Matic and Salah. This all will make their job even more difficult, but their ace in their sleeve is “the Special One”. Mourinho will participate in the eighth time in the Champions League semifinal and overtake the first place on that list from Ferguson.
During the current season, Chelsea weren’t so good on the road – their score in the Premiership is 8-4-5 and last five games their results were D-W-L-L-W. Their defense is the best in the league (they conceded just 26 goals in 35 games), but the problem is bad form of their strikers.
Ba, Eto’o and Torres all scored just 9 goals in the Champions League. One thing is certain – in the encounter against Spanish team, they will have to reach a new level of play if they are keen to earn positive result ahead of the second leg in London.