Wednesday 27th September. 7:45PM. BT Sport
The first ever Champions League encounter at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano sees Atletico Madrid host Premier League champions Chelsea, and the stage is set for what should be a feisty and fascinating affair between two sides who will have high hopes of going deep into this competition.
A heated sage revolving around Diego Costa has seen the sides engulfed in more than a little animosity in recent weeks, and that should lead to an extremely passionate contest here. Given that the group also includes Roma, it could be a pivotal battle to deciding their respective fates too.
Bring it on!
Will New Home Become An Atletico Fortress?
Diego Simeone’s Rojiblancos have undoubtedly been the over-performers of Europe’s elite competition in recent years, going so close on multiple occasions. Their incredible home form at the Calderon was a major factor behind those successes, and they’ll be eager to start life in the new stadium with similar results.
A weekend win over Sevilla was a positive start, and the Spaniards know that they have the quality to cause problems for the visitors in this one too. Even without Costa, the firepower of Antoine Griezmann and Angel Correa should not be ignored. Former Blues striker Fernando Torres would surely love to grab the headlines.
Atleti boast great talent across the pitch with Saul Niguez, Koke and Yannick Carrasco all capable of controlling the contest. Defensively, former Chelsea man Felipe Luis is just one of several reliable names. Moreover, a large percentage of this squad were present when the club last defeated their English opponents en route to the 2014 final.
Narrow defence combined with fast counter attacks have often produced great results for the hosts. They’ll be hoping for more of the same against Chelsea.
Conte Looking To Put One Foot In Last 16
It’s only the second game of this fascinating Group C, but a win for Antonio Conte’s men would put them firmly in the driving seat to grab a place in the knockouts. It won’t be easy, but the Blues can be quietly optimistic.
A 6-0 hammering of Qarabag underlined their lethal side while Alvaro Morata’s weekend hat-trick at Stoke gives further evidence as to why they can be confident. With Eden Hazard back in action and the likes of Willian and Cesc Fabregas performing well, this Chelsea side are capable of stamping their authority, especially if they can get their noses in front.
Like the hosts, Chelsea are looking particularly solid at the back too thanks to the fact that every star knows his role. Given that Atleti drew at Roma, though, a draw would be far from disastrous as they look to remain favourites for top spot.
Whatever happens, it should be one of the most intriguing battles of the entire group phase. Let’s just hope we can bag some winnings too.
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Betting
With home advantage on their side, it’s Atletico who enter this contest as the 23/20 favourites while Chelsea are 29/10 outsiders with Ladbrokes. The draw can be backed 23/10.
This could very easily be a tight affair between two sides that cannot afford to lose. With the level of attacking quality on show, it would be difficult to predict a repeat of the 0-0 outcome seen during the last meeting at the Calderon. However, goals could be at a premium.
We’re backing the under 2.0 goal line, safe in the knowledge that two goals will bring a refund.
Following the results of matchday one, combined with the fact Atleti are at home, the pressure is on the Spaniards more than Chelsea. Unless they can seal a two-goal lead early doors, there’s a good chance that they’ll be looking to make set pieces count.
The Blues are more than capable of winning corners too, so we’re avoiding ‘race to’ and ‘handicap’ markets. We suggest taking Atleti to win at least six instead.