While Atletico Madrid has been great in La Liga play this season and hold their destiny in their hands for the Spanish league title, they don’t have a good handle on their Champions League fate.
They played to a draw at home in the first leg with Chelsea and are underdogs facing the Blues at Stamford Bridge in the second leg.
Indeed, the tide has turned for the Blues. They head into this match as the betting favorite, but they are back in the Premier League race after a 2-0 road win over first-place Liverpool.
Chelsea was the Champions League betting favorite at most sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, posted with odds of +130 with Atletico Madrid at +250 and a draw line of +230.
While the Blues played to a draw in Madrid, in their last match at home they lost to Sunderland, who are battling to stay out of the relegation zone in the Premier League.
The Blues are unbeaten in their last 16 matches in the Champions League facing teams from Spain.
If Chelsea wins, they will secure their third Champions League final in the last six years.
In the first leg at Madrid, Chelsea played a defensive match, but it paid off. While their offense only had five shots, they secured the 0-0 draw, withstanding 25 Atletico shots.
Diego Costa, who has scored seven Champions League goals this season, was thwarted in the first match and if the Spanish side is going to progress, he has to press the issue and pressure the Blues’ defense.
The Blues will be shorthanded in this match, as Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel are suspended and starting G Petr Cech is out with an injury. Still, backup G Mark Schwarzer had a clean sheet in the upset loss at Liverpool. Chelsea has to be confident after beating the Reds and playing to a draw in the Spanish Capital in the first leg.
Eden Hazard leads Chelsea in goals on the season and while he is injured and missed the Liverpool match, he may return for this Champions league encounter. Fernando Torres was the main striker for the Blues in the first leg and while he has had issues this season in the EPL, he is tied with two other players for the lead in Champions League goals for Chelsea this season.
The Atletico defense has been stellar in Champions League play so far, conceding just five goals in 10 matches.
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