Champions League: Atletico Madrid v Chelsea match preview
A look ahead to tonight’s Champions League semi-final at the Vincente Calderon stadium
Tuesday 22 April 2014
Atletico Madrid are top of La Liga and are facing the opportunity to add both the domestic trophy and the Champions League silverware to Vincente Calderon. Meanwhile, Chelsea are travelling to Spain hoping to shake off their 2-1 defeat to Sunderland in the weekend. However, it will not be an easy task: Atletico Madrid haven’t lost a single home match in La Liga or in any of their Champions League matches this season.
Atletico Madrid sent Barcelona out of the Champions League – the Catalans earliest exit in seven years – with a score of 2-1 over the two legs. Their opponent, Chelsea, managed to come back against Paris St Germain after losing 1-3 at Parc de Princes, and made their way to the semi-finals with a 2-0 win at the Bridge.
Much of the pre-match talk has been about on-loan from Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be able to play against his parent club. Reports suggested that Chelsea had a clause in the loan deal meaning the Belgian would not be allowed to face the Londoners unless Atletico paid a fee of £5m. However, Uefa announced immediately after the draw that such a clause was invalid, why the Madrilenos are confident Courtois will guard the goal.
KICK OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm
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Chelsea 1 (Cahill) Atletico Madrid 4 (Falcao 3, Miranda), UEFA Super Cup, August 2012.
Atletico Madrid 2 (Aguero 2) Chelsea 2 (Drogba 2), Champions League, group stage, November 2009.
Chelsea 4 (Kalou 2, Lampard, Perea (OG)) Atletico Madrid 0, Champions League, group stage, October 2009.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 15 matches with Spanish sides in the Champions League. Their last defeat was against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in February 2006.
The three competitive encounters between the two sides have produced 13 goals.
This will be Atletico Madrids first semi-finals of the European Cup/Champions League since 1974 when they eventually lost in the final against Bayern Munich.
Chelsea have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the seventh time since 2003/04, the joint highest tally along with Barcelona.
Atletico Madrid have only conceded five goals in 10 Champions League games this season, making them the team with the best defends in the competition.
Thibaut Courtois has saved 82,1% of shots faced in the Champions League this season, while Petr Cech has saved 76.7%.
Atletico Madrid to win: 1.91
Chelsea to win: 3.40
TV: Live on ITV 1 and ITV HD at 7.45, highlights on ITV 1 at 10.35.
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