Atletico take on Chelsea in their second game in the Champions League on Wednesday night as the Wanda Metropolitano welcome Europe’s elite competition for the first time.
In the last two matches, Atleti have won against difficult opponents, both home and away. While at times the football was not the prettiest, it looked like real Atlético Madrid football. With Diego Simeone making the most of his squad through rotation for the first time as Atleti boss, many of Atleti’s most important players are well rested for this encounter. Diego Godín was rested against Sevilla, and will likely start against the Premier League champions. The official squad also revealed Vrsaljko, Gameiro and Augusto would not be in the squad for the match against Chelsea.
Chelsea is also coming off a win at the weekend, beating Stoke 4-0, with Diego Costa replacement Alvaro Morata scoring a hat trick. Eden Hazard could also continue his return from injury against Atlético, which could cause problems for the right back on the night.
The last competitive match in which these two clubs faced each other was in the 2013/14 season’s Champions League semi-final, where Atleti won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to advance to the final. Prior to that, Atleti drew the first leg of that tie 0-0, and won the UEFA Supercup against Chelsea 4-1, who were the defending Champions League winners.
With Diego Costa’s arrival at Atleti this week fully announced, Chelsea only have one former rojiblanco among them, and that is Thibaut Courtois, who has built on his great loan spell at Atleti by becoming one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. Prior to the match on Thursday, Courtois was pictured by the official Atlético Twitter account at the Wanda, admiring his plaque that he earned for 154 club appearances. Filipe Luis, Fernando Torres, and Diego Costa have all played for Chelsea, with varying levels of success.
This should be a tight match, given the similarity of the two sides, but both have enough attacking quality to score in this match. A score draw would not be unlikely, but the match is certainly there to be won for both sides, and may come down to a one-goal margin. 1-1.