Champions League preview: Chelsea vs. Atletico

Atlético face tough task in semifinal

fernando torres atletico chelsea

Torres against Atlético
(AFP/Getty Image,

Atletico Madrid go into Wednesday night’s match with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge knowing that a single goal could be enough to take them to their first top-tier European Cup final in 40 years.

The second leg of the semi-final kicks off at 20:45 CET at Stamford Bridge, which has been something of a fortress in recent seasons for Jose Mourinho and his men.

Cholo Simeone has had an impressive season balancing both domestic and European ties, notching up Atleti’s ninth win in a row in the league. and that winning streak must continue if Atleti are going to make history this season.

The task facing los Rojiblancos shouldn’t be taken for granted. Chelsea have made the semi-finals six times in the Roman Abramovic era, and they are looking to make their third final in the last six years by shutting out Atleti and their reported summer transfer target, our beast, Diego Costa.

After a boring 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon last week, which was roundly criticised by every corner of the footballing world, spectators will be hoping for a more entertaining affair – however it is still likely to be a very close tie.

Mourinho proved that Chelsea are capable of defending for their lives, having kept a clean sheet against both the league-leaders in Spain and England in the space of five days.

Away at Anfield on Sunday, Mourinho’s men snatched a goal courtesy of Steven Gerrard’s slip in midfield, and then defended their lead by parking what Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers referred to as ‘2 buses’.

Atletico know how important it is to keep up their record of fewest goals conceded in the Champions League this season, and will look to snatch a vital away goal at the earliest opportunity.

“The confidence is always there – especially in the semi-final of the Champions League. My players are excited,” Simeone said at the pre-match press conference.

“We know we’ll have to work hard in a very difficult game – we’ll have to put in an enormous effort to get the result we want.”

On Chelsea’s defensive displays in recent games, Simeone sounded impressed.

“I’m a football man. I respect different ways of setting out the team. It’s about what is best for the specific game or opposition. To defend well is not easy, so I congratulate teams who do that well.”

Captain Gabi is suspended after picking up a yellow card in the first leg, whilst Frank Lampard also misses the game for Chelsea for the same reason.

Petr Cech could make an unlikely return from injury – he dislocated his shoulder in the first-leg. John Terry is set to make a comeback for Chelsea in defence, after also hobbling out of the game last Tuesday.

Arda Turan is doubtful with a groin injury.

One card away from suspension
Emiliano Insúa, Koke and Juanfran will miss the final if they are booked.

Atlético Madrid match selections:
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Juanfran, Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Miranda, Giménez, Insúa, Manquillo
Midfielders: Tiago, Mario, Koke, Arda, Raúl García, Sosa, Rodríguez, Diego
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Diego Costa

  • palestine-atletico

    Where is juanfran?????

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    we have nothing to lose ..
    except few faithful (or let me say crazy) Atleti fans, no one expected that we will make it this far
    no pressure, no tension .. just joy
    we have to enjoy this game and leave the pressure and nervousness for Mourinho and his gang
    He is the one who lost 3 consecutive CL semifnals
    He is the one who lost 5 of his 7 CL semifnals
    He is the one who never reached the final with his beloved Chelsea, while 2 other less coaches did, and one of them even won the title
    And he is the Real Madrid coach who lost against Atletico Madrid for the first time in more than 14 years

    Not so special after all

    I have no feelings or expectations about tomorrow’s game .. anything could happen
    but whatever happens, I will be very proud of this team

    This is the last time I write this, and I wish it become true :
    The Manzanares River Ends in Lisbon

    Juanfran is in the squad, Nick just forgot him
    in fact, the whole team are London, all the 22 of them, even the suspended Gabi

  • kris

    An all Madrid Champions League Final? Could it be? Oh my God, if this happens this will be historic. Make it happen tomorrow Colchoneros! They say hard work pays off, I hope our players’, coaches, and staffs hard work pays off as well. It would be incredible for us to reach the final after such a long time, against our local rivals Real. A portion of Madrid will travel to Lisbon in Rojiblancos and Blancos shirts. This would be incredible. I don’t know why I am being happy that Real won, it shouldn’t be like that but oh my, oh my, we are ONE final closer to reaching THE FINAL. Please do it boys. Do it for yourselves, do it for your fans, do it for determination, hard work, and balls, do it for your city, do it for Luis Aragones, do it for Tito, but most of all do it for the crest on your chest. Forza Atleti!

  • jeronamo

    Well said guys…. What can i add? Nothing besides my voice as support, I’m proud of what our team has done so far this season and what we can still do.

    Aupa Atleti!!!

  • farhan


  • Pantic#10

    Weird but i’m happy too that Real Madrid is in the final.
    Because if we defeat Chelsea, this would be a legendary final.

    I’m living this 2nd leg with joy, i quote Ahmad feelings.

    We can do it, it’s difficult, very difficult, but we can do it.
    Honestly it’s more difficult for chelsea to defeat us.

    I hope that the referee, Rizzoli do a good job…he’s one of the best referee of my country (mmmhhh maybe it’s better to say…one of the less worst)

    Simeone did the right thing to bring Gabi to London. He’s our brain, soul and heart.

  • Atletico9

    Who can’t have a yellow card if were are going to play the final?

  • Silchas

    Insua Koke and Juanfran will be sunspended if they get a card today

  • Valinia

    I believe we can beat them with our solid defence n effective counter attack, also the pressure is on their side since we r the underdog :P. Im so glad that gabi is also in london cos i cannot imagine the team without him. VAMOS ATLETI!

  • Chewie

    Gabi is like an awesome older brother that everyone wanted to have. He’s just a cool guy that embodies everything we love in the current Atletico. Glad he’s in London with the team. The night’s going to be epic – I’ll spend the first half on the train to Moscow and then, after the break, will rush to the nearest bar to watch the second half. I just hope the score won’t be 0-3 not in our favour)

  • Farzad from Iran

    Today is the best time to show every one that our team is the best,,, we wont have easy match and chesea shouldnt score any goal

  • EC

    I know we should be proud and happy no matter what happens. But in all honesty I will die if we don’t get to the CL final after getting this far (when will we be in this position again), also i absolutely hate Chelsea and Mourinho. I am so nervous about tonight

  • pantic#10

    This is it.

    Adrian from the 1st minute.
    The perfect 7 will destroy their defense.

    Aupa Atleti. now and 4ever.

  • EC

    Chelsea starting with 6 SIX! Defenders not too mention 1 holding mid aswell