The journey to the final of the UEFA Champions League continues at Stamford Bridge as a rejuvenated Chelsea play host to Atlético Madrid in the return leg of their Round of 16 clash. Chelsea hold a slender one-goal advantage after defeating the team from Spain in the opening match, which was played in Romania due to restrictions placed on English teams due to the COVID pandemic.
Chelsea got to this stage after topping a group consisting of Sevilla, FC Rennes, and Krasnodar, while Atlético Madrid played catch-up to Bayern Munich in theirs. However, that doesn’t tell the true story of their respective seasons. Atleti are flying high at the top of Spanish La Liga, while Chelsea’s early season form resulted in the changing of managers. With Frank Lampard’s replacement Thomas Tuchel now unbeaten in 12 games since taking charge, that decision looks like a shrewd move by the team from London.
As happens in most tournaments, and not exempting the UCL, the return leg decides who goes through to the next stage. In fact, it often produces more action, goals and edge-of the-seat entertainment than the first match. For neutrals, it is a chance to sit in front of their screen and take in another round of thrilling UCL football, whilst for the bettors it is an opportunity to predict which way the second leg will turn out. Hence, our team of experts have researched and analysed carefully where the match can be won and lost for either team.
Chelsea vs Atlético Madrid: Team News
Atlético Madrid have a clean bill of health for this match. In the Chelsea camp, both Thiago Silva, who is still nursing an injury, and Tammy Abraham, who has also been sidelined recently, are unlikely to feature. Mason Mount and Jorginho are both suspended due to bookings received in the first match.
Diego Simeone’s side may have the advantage over Chelsea in the middle of the park with the absentees.
Chelsea vs Atlético Madrid: Head-to-head
In a total of eight previous meetings, Chelsea has the upper hand with three wins, ATM have won two times, and three stalemates have been recorded. It is worth noting that “home advantage” has counted for less in those meetings, with the last two matches at Stamford Bridge producing one draw and one away win.
Key Men: Who can decide the match?
Jan Oblak, João Félix, and Luis Suárez are probably the players tasked with delivering the most in the upcoming match for Atlético Madrid. Oblak, the goalkeeper, is known for keeping clean sheets at a rate that surpasses most goalkeepers and currently has more than any other in the ongoing La Liga season, while Suárez hasn’t stopped banging in the goals since his transfer from FC Barcelona. Félix has probably been the most improved player in the squad, and he will be a great bet to add to his three goals in this season’s UCL.
Chelsea will look once more to Olivier Giroud. The scorer of six goals in the ongoing UCL is expected to lead the line against a team known for its mean defence . Timo Werner is another who will try to unlock the defence and increase his tally of three CL goals this season, but his last goal scored was in mid-February.
We can expect more goals in the return leg than the first match, which produced a solitary goal.
Chelsea vs Atlético Madrid prediction
Chelsea can be backed to win in normal time at odds of 2.29, while Atlético Madrid are being offered at 3.65 to come out victorious. A draw at the end of 90 minutes is 3.44.
It promises to be a highly competitive match and we are backing Atleti to take advantage of Chelsea’s midfield absentees and their inability to regularly hit the back of the net, as highlighted in two recent 0-0 Premier League stalemates. Thomas Tuchel won’t want reminding about losing first-leg leads in the UCL, after a last-minute penalty conceded to Man Utd saw his PSG team eliminated at this stage in 2019.
TIP: Atlético Madrid to win in 90 minutes play.
You can also check out our Europa League Predictions here.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
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