Prediction & odds for the game: Chelsea (5/4) v Atletico Madrid (23/10) – ST is backing the draw
When: Wednesday, 17th March @ 8pm K.O
Where: Stamford Bridge
Chelsea will try and secure their place in the quarter-finals of this season’s UEFA Champions League when they face Atletico Madrid this week.
Thomas Tuchel has reinjected a sense of structure into this side that, looking back, just wasn’t there under Frank Lampard during the last few weeks of his reign. There’s an argument to be made that the Blues aren’t quite as much fun to watch but that should be something that comes in time. For now, Tuchel knows he has the chance to win some silverware with the club this season, and they could well be the dark horses if they can make it into the UCL’s last eight.
Chelsea’s games tend to be pretty tight these days as we’ve seen in pretty much all of their last six outings. They drew with Southampton, beat Atletico in the first leg, drew with Manchester United and beat Liverpool – with those games having a grand total of four goals. They went on to beat Everton but seemed to be quite unsure of themselves in a 0-0 draw against Leeds United.
They’re still clinging onto top spot in La Liga but as the weeks go on, it’s clear to see that Atletico will be made to really fight for the crown between now and the end of the season. At the same time they also have to weigh up the value of their participation in the Champions League, because while they’re bound to give it their all in this game, going out and being able to focus on winning the league title wouldn’t be the worst thing.
Defeats to Levante and Chelsea in a span of just three days seemed to set Madrid back a step or two, only for a win against Villarreal to get them back on track. They did fail to see out a win against rivals Real Madrid and settled for a draw, followed by a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao and a dull 0-0 against Getafe.
Chelsea know they have the edge heading into this second leg but it’s not really the kind of advantage they can feel comfortable with – especially against a team like Atletico. We think this is going to be even tenser than the first leg, if that even comes across as a possibility, with Atletico obviously being the ones who pour forward at will. We do believe Chelsea will just about manage to hold on and claim their spot in the last eight which, all things considered, is quite the achievement for them.
Our official scoreline prediction is going to be 0-0, ensuring the Blues progress 1-0 on aggregate and we stick to the under 2.5 goals bracket.
Verdict: Back the draw at odds of 9/4 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/7 (All odds are taken from bet365).
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