Champions League Match Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

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Updated: April 14, 2014
Thibaut Courtois

Match Date: 22 April 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Vicente Calderon

(Featured image: Thibaut Courtois | Source: jeunesfooteux.com)

 

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are both the top dogs (at least at one point in the current season) of their respective domestic leagues, the Spanish La Liga for the former and the English Premier League for the latter. The semi-finalists for UEFA’s top-division continental tournament will duel neck-and-neck when they meet for their first leg on April 22 at the Vicente Calderon for a chance at reaching the Champions League’s finale, where they will battle out with either Spain’s Real Madrid or title defenders Germany’s Bayern Munich.

 

Atletico narrowly dominated over fellow Spanish ensemble Barcelona during the quarter-finals. The sides were rendered level in their first league, but Koke’s goal in the second round proved to be decisive of the match’s outcome. Chelsea, meanwhile, won their semi-final berth via away goal decision. Their first leg against France’s PSG saw them concede three goals and earn only one. In the repeat encounter, they won a two-goal clean sheet over their opponents. It was the quarter-final’s closest two-leg faceoff.

 

The battle has a hotspot centering upon goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, the Belgian national on-loan with Los Colchoneros from The Blues. According to reports, Chelsea would allow their opponents to play the keeper in both legs of the semi-final, for as long as they would pay a fee of around €3 million for each round. UEFA, however, stated that the Belgium international should be free to play in both matches.

 

Minus the defense and goalkeeping departments, Atletico Madrid have scored more Champions League goals this year than did Chelsea. This means that both teams might capitalize on their attack to secure victory.

 

Online betting tip: This Atletico Madrid and Chelsea meeting could explode in outstanding maneuvers from both sides, but the Spanish team will eventually earn all the spoils.