Chelsea will travel to Spain for the first leg of the Champions league clash with Atletico hoping to steal an advantage ahead of the return, as Bet365 report their price of 10/11 is attracting plenty of attention.
With the club five points off the top of the Premier League, the Champions League represents their best chance of the trophy this season.
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The game marks a return to Madrid for Jose Mourinho and pits his tactical know-how against one of the games rising stars, Diego Simone.
The Argentine has worked wonders at the Vicente Calderon, leading Atletico to the Copa del Rey last year and to the top of La Liga this season.
Simone will be at full strength for the game with on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is set to face his parent club and Ardan Turan available once again following a groin injury.
Chelsea meanwhile received a blow before the game with Samuel Eto’o failing to travel with the squad due to a knee injury. The Cameroon International is likely to be replaced by the in-form Demba Ba with Fernando Torres set to be on the bench.
The Blues will also be without the suspended Branislav Ivanovic for the game with David Luiz favourites to come into the side in his absence. Eden Hazard has travelled but may not play as he continues to struggle with a calf injury while Nemanja Matic and Mo Salah are both ineligible for the tie.
While Atletico are novices at this level they showed their growing maturity and class in the last run when they beat Barcelona 2-1 on aggregate. Diego Simone’s men breezed through the group stages, winning 5 and drawing 1 and they have yet to lose in this year’s competition.
They offered a warning sign of their potential in the last 16 with their 5-1 aggregate win over AC Milan however their performances over the two legs against Barca made the footballing world sit up and take notice.
Chelsea meanwhile may be modern day European aristocrats however the 2012 winners and current Europa League holders have not been as fluid on the big stage this time and have already lost 3 times in this seasons competition. In true Mourinho form however the club has shown their mental strength after each defeat.
This was very much in evidence in the quarter-final win over PSG. Chelsea looked down and out after they lost 3-1 in the first leg however they overcame the loss of their talisman Eden Hazard early in the second leg to beat the French side 2-0 and advance.