UCL Preview: Chelsea visit La Liga darlings Atletico Madrid

IMAGE, CLUBATLETICOMADRID.COM

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Chelsea’s title hopes are almost all but dashed after falling to relegation favorites Sunderland 2-1 during the weekend Premier League fixture.

The Champions League represents the Blues best opportunity for a trophy. However, the road will not be easy traveling to the Vicente Calderon stadium and Atletico Madrid for the first leg of their semi-final clash.

The Blues will also recognize a familiar face. On-loan from Chelsea, Thibaut Courtois is set to square off against his parent club. Courtois is one of the best young goalkeepers in the world and a big part of Atletico’s success. Fernando Torres may also be offered the chance for a start in his old stomping grounds. He last played for the club in 2007 before moving to England with Liverpool. Samuel Eto’0 did not make the trip due to a knee injury.

Every defender on the Chelsea back line will have to keep one eye on Diego Costa. He has tallied seven times so far in the competition. However, Atletico has enough quality to find goals elsewhere. It was Koke, who took up the mantle in the club’s last European match, scoring the winner against Barcelona.

Chelsea did well to get past a difficult Paris St. Germain side in the previous round. However, how different would the result have been if Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fit for the second leg for PSG?

Atletico Madrid is fit and on form and have been a difficult side at home all season.

How much hangover Chelsea has after losing against Sunderland will also be a major factor in the Champions League clash.


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