Defences Expected to Dominate as Chelsea Travel to Face Atletico Madrid
Chelsea started their Champions League campaign with a straightforward 6-0 success over Qarabag in Group C but they face a much sterner test when they travel to face Atletico on September 27.
Antonio Conte’s side were back to their free-flowing best when putting four goals past Stoke in the Premier League on September 23 but chances could be at a premium when they visit the Wanda Metropolitano. Atletico are yet to concede at their new home and managed to hold Italian side Roma to a goalless draw away from home on Matchday 1. Diego Simeone’s team are renowned for being miserly at the back and they will be keeping close tabs on both Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard.
Chelsea welcome back David Luiz for this encounter after missing the Stoke match through suspension. Gary Cahill was left on the bench for the victory over the Potters and he could also return to the fold with Chelsea aiming to keep a fourth clean sheet in five in all competitions.
Atletico Madrid have conceded just two home goals in this competition since September 2015 although this is the first time the Wanda Metropolitano has hosted Champions League football.
This will be a test of Chelsea’s credentials and they will need to show plenty of imagination in the final third in order to unlock the Atletico defence. Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas are both likely to play for the visitors whilst Alvaro Morata will be aiming to add to his weekend hat-trick. Don’t expect a five-goal thriller in Madrid on September 27, although there will be plenty of quality on show for both sides.
It’s no surprise to see Irish bookmakers such as bet365 price the hosts up as 23/20 favourites, with Chelsea available at 29/10.