Chelsea will have received a major boost in confidence over the weekend after tactically outmaneuvering Liverpool in a top of the table clash to keep their hopes for the English title alive. On Wednesday night they host Atletico Madrid in the return leg of their Champions League semifinal tie, in what is proving to be a crucial week for Jose Mourinho’s Blues side. Atletico themselves are very much in the title hunt in Spain, and are in fact in a better position than their rivals of Wednesday night domestically, as they lead traditional Spanish powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid with just three rounds to play.
Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid Odds
With such an important midweek tie looming, you could have almost excused these two sides for losing a bit of focus in their respective leagues over the weekend, but, with both sides facing tough away fixtures, both Chelsea (5/4 and 10/11 to qualify) and Atletico Madrid (13/5 and 10/11 to qualify) showed their class by coming through the game relatively unscathed.
Perhaps more impressive of the two performances was Chelsea’s, who were missing several first team picks through injury and suspension, but Mourinho’s counter attacking tactics, which came under fire for their apparent negativity, proved to be decisive in a game that they had to win to keep them in with a chance of winning the title.
Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, at the top of the Spanish league for the first time in a long while, travelled to Valencia knowing that a win would go a long way to securing the Spanish title. Diego Simeone’s side did just that, claiming an important one goal win, and assuring that they go into the game against Chelsea in the highest spirits possible. The mood in the Atletico camp is sky-high at the moment, and, playing away from home, any goals they score could prove to be crucial, as they virtually count as double.
It is a difficult one to call. As the first leg, which ended in a goalless draw, demonstrated, there is little to pick between these two sides, but you feel that Chelsea’s superior experience at this level could prove to be an advantage. However, many said the same thing in the last round when Simeone’s side met Barcelona, and when Borussia Dortmund faced Real Madrid in the semis last year, and both ties went in the underdogs’ favour, so that must be taken into consideration. In truth, at this stage of the competition, every team has the class and power to be any other side, and it is just a case of putting in the performance on the day. Home ground advantage for Chelsea, of course, is a big boost. The draw for the game is being offered at 23/10.