Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea Preview: Diego Costa derby set to be a tight game

The Blues will visit the Wanda Metropolitano in the hopes to get their second win of the Champions League group stage.

Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea Preview: Diego Costa derby set to be a tight game
Antonio Conte at the Press Conference ahead of Chelsea's tie with Atletico Madrid (Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Darren Walsh)

Chelsea travel to Spain for their second Champions League Group match, with Atletico Madrid the opposition on Wednesday evening.

The Blues have failed to record a win against Los Rojiblancos in their previous two Champions League meetings, with the last time they visited the Spanish capital ending in a 3-1 defeat.

Antonio Conte will be looking to beat Diego Simeone’s team, and take the three points back to Stamford Bridge, after recording a perfect start against Group C opponents Qarabag FK in their opening fixture.

Team News

Chelsea will be expected to name David Luiz in the side to face Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano, despite receiving a fractured arm when they faced Arsenal a fortnight ago. The Brazil international had also picked up a red card, however, his suspension only rules him out for domestic fixtures.

Eden Hazard is expected to start the match, having been used as a substitute in the past couple of games, although he did make his first start of the season against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, after continuing his recovery from an ankle injury.

Pedro is considered a doubt to face the Spanish giants on Wednesday as he has a minor problem, however, the extent of his injury has not been disclosed and it remains to be seen if he is available for selection, but captain Gary Cahill is expected to return to the centre of defence after he served his suspension – like Luiz – for domestic games.

No Drinkwater still

Chelsea, will, however, be without Danny Drinkwater, who is yet to make his debut for the Premier League champions, as he continues his recovery from a calf problem he picked up in training and is not expected back until after the international break.

Potential Starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Hazard, Pedro, Morata.

Atletico will be playing their first home Champions League fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano and will be looking to get a win under their belt.

Simeone’s men only managed a draw in their previous match against AS Roma in Italy, although it appeared as if they had deserved more.

Los Rojiblancos will be in a strong position to be able to take full points from the game, as they have a fully fit squad to pick from, whilst Antonie Griezmann has started to find his form in La Liga.

Potential Starting XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Luis; Niguez Gabi, Partley, Koke; Griezmann, Vietto.

Background

Chelsea has struggled to emerge victorious against Atletico in their previous four meetings, having lost two and drawn the other two, although they are unbeaten in their last nine Champions League away games against Spanish sides, having drawn the last five in a row.

The Blues rarely lose a match at this stage of the competition, having lost just the once in their previous 14, which has led to the Stamford Bridge outfit making the knockout stages 13 times in the last 14 attempts.

Atletico are also well accustomed to the tournament as a whole, having won 18 of the 23 matches played at home under Simeone, which has led to them being runners-up twice in the past four years.