Two draws against Qarabag in consecutive weeks has left Atlético Madrid in a difficult position in the Champions League group stages with elimination from the competition looking almost inevitable. They have to travel to London and beat Chelsea but also have to hope that Qarabag win their third ever point in the competition at home to Roma. The first two points the Azerbaijan side won were against Atlético in those back-to-back capitulations recently.
“We are hear of our own doing,” Filipe Luis said before the game against Chelsea in London. “The only thing now that is in our hands is to win. We can’t be sorry now, the season is the way it is. We have to look at the present. Simple as that,” he continued.
Chelsea have struggled at certain times this season themselves with Antonio Conte’s future at the club insecure. He has admitted he won’t be at Chelsea or in England for too long and seems to be at loggerheads with the Chelsea board over signings and lack of activity in the transfer market. They are still capable of dominating games, however, as we saw at the Wanda Metropolitano when a late Michy Bathshuayi goal that gave them a 2-1 lead was just reward for an excellent performance.
“Every game is a game that requires guts,” Filipe Luis continued. “But not just guts, we have to keep our heads and play nice football. Defend well and have clear ideas on a tactical level,” he continued.
Diego Simeone has called 21 players for the game with the only notable absentee being Juanfran, who continues to recover from a muscle injury picked up before the Roma game and which has kept him out for a number of games.
Chelsea, on the other hand, who ran Newcastle United ragged at the weekend have just one injury with David Luiz being forced out with a knee injury.
Conte was also asked about Álvaro Morata, who has added 10 goals for Chelsea since joining from Real Madrid in the summer and he said, “‘Alvaro is very happy to play for Chelsea, and I am very happy to have a player like him,’’ Conte said.
“For Alvaro it is the first season to play with regularity, and he is showing he is a great striker. For me, he has a lot of room for improvement and to become one of the best strikers in the world.”
Atlético could beat Chelsea and it would all be in vain as the really big game is in Azerbaijan at the same time. But Atlético need to hold up their end of the bargain too.