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Three keys to an Atlético Madrid win at Chelsea

Diego Simeone will look to get one over on Antonio Conte and continue his side’s good form.

Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid face an uphill battle to qualify for the first knockout round in the Champions League, and even a win in London against reigning Premier League champions Chelsea might not be enough to seal progression.

AS Roma simply need to win when they take on bottom club Qarabag FK at home, and a place in the Europa League looks much more probable for Diego Simeone’s men.

Nonetheless, winning games of football breeds confidence and the Argentine will undoubtedly be looking to get one over Antonio Conte and win in the English capital to end their Champions League campaign with a flourish.

Here are three ways Atlético can topple the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening:

Thwart the threat of Eden Hazard

Hazard is one of the most sought-after footballers on the planet and Atlético must show him the respect that befits Belgian on Tuesday.

The versatile forward is skillful beyond belief and his ability to flit from one position to another means that Simeone must utilise someone to be his shadow for the evening — Juanfran was that man in the return fixture, and he failed spectacularly at tracking him.

The 26-year-old is far and away Chelsea’s star performer and everything good about the Blues’ style of football comes through him. If Simeone stands any chance of overseeing a famous win on English soil then someone must stop Hazard.

Continue on the goal trail

Atlético have found the way to goal in recent weeks during their Liga Santander campaign after a difficult start to the campaign in that respect.

Antoine Griezmann has found his feet now too and his performances have been much better of late, meaning that Atlético once again have that piece of quality that can trouble the very best sides in Europe.

Although goals have proven hard to come by in European football this season, los rojiblancos were ruthless in the second half last time out against Roma and they could do with keeping up that attribute at Stamford Bridge.

Stay tight at the back

An uncharacteristic error from Jan Oblak in the Atlético goal saw the team go behind against Real Sociedad at the weekend, and if Simeone’s men are to get anything from Stamford Bridge they must ensure to cut out such mistakes.

El Cholo is fortunate that he has a bunch of players in his team who relish the big occasion and in drawing with Barcelona and Real Madrid this season his team has shown they can still mix it with the big boys.

Chelsea are the only team to defeat Atlético during the 2017/18 campaign and given his intensely competitive nature you can bet that Simeone will want to set the record straight under the Stamford Bridge lights — even if it doesn’t result in Champions League progression.