Chelsea will be welcoming Atletico Madrid to The Bridge on Wednesday night to play in one of the biggest games of the season. It’s the second leg of the Champions leg and the tie stands all square after the first leg in Madrid.
Atletico have slightly more to play for during the rest of the season then Chelsea do, as they have broken the dominance of both Barcelona and local rivals Real Madrid by currently leading the way in La Liga and looking as though they could have it wrapped up by Sunday night after they play Levante. Chelsea on the other hand do not hold the key to winning their domestic league and if they are to win it, they not only need to rely on both Man. City and Liverpool both dropping points but having to win all remaining games against teams fighting for relegation which has been proven tricky at this time of year.
Both clubs are coming off the back of good wins over the weekend which would give teams great confidence coming into a game which can be decided on the smallest detail, whether it be a moment of brilliance or a terrible mistake. With confidence this type of game can only bring nerves as well.
After the first and seeing how Athletico are fairly similar to Chelsea, in the way we are willing to be cautious and take a result, it will be interesting to see how both teams come out play on Wednesday night. A goal for Athletico would be a huge blow for Chelsea as it would leave us to having to score two. As many journalists have stated a 0-0 result at home in the 1st leg is not a bad result, as one goal can give you a huge advantage. And that is why I feel Chelsea need to come out the blocks firing on all cylinders to try and get an early, not only to put us in the lead but if they do score we only need one to go through.
Like the first leg, the game at Stamford Bridge will be tight and neither team will want to make a mistake. Jose will know this and I think he will use the three more holding players in midfield to try as much as possible Athletico scoring. Taking suspensions and ineligible players into account it looks as though Luiz and Ramires will play with one other; either Oscar or V.Ginkel, depending how ambitious Jose goes. As well as Ba has been playing and the goals he has been scoring, up top Eto’o should get a start. We should have more of the ball than we have had in recent games due to being at home, and Eto’o is the striker who can make something with the ball at his feet.
The winner of this tie will be booking a place in the final against Real Madrid in Lisbon, and both sides will have a reason to play them. Madrid derby or Mourinho vs. his old club. I’ll go for a 2-1 Chelsea win giving The Blues another memorable European night in SW6.