|UEFA Champions League 2013/14|
| Atlético Madrid
ScheduleTuesday, 22 April 2014 at 18:45 GMT / 19:45 UK / 00:15 IST
VenueVicente Calderón (Madrid)
Next Tuesday, the hyper motivated Atlético Madrid will measure forces with José Mourinho’s Chelsea at Vicente Calderón for the semi-finals first leg of the UEFA Champions League.
Last Friday, Atlético Madrid won the first of the five “finals” they have until the end of La Liga, during which they struggled to defeat a well organized Elche side at a packed Vicente Calderón. The Colchoneros grabbed a vital win before they take on Chelsea next Tuesday for the UEFA Champions League, a match that will put two of the best head coaches of “modern” football face to face.
The Colchoneros' campaign at UEFA Champions League this term has been almost flawless so far, especially considering that the Madrid side has not yet experienced the sour taste of defeat. On the last round of the competition, Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid triumphed over a slightly fragile Barcelona side that were completely dominated, especially during the second leg match at Vicente Calderón. Diego Simeone’s Italian influenced 4-4-2 style keeps proving its blatant efficiency as the team always seem to find a way to win the matches.
For next Tuesday’s match, Atlético’s Argentinean manager is not yet certain if he will be able to count on the talented Turkish midfielder Arda Turan, who has missed the team’s last matches due to injury.
As for Chelsea, it was interesting to see how they have managed to destroy a Paris Saint-Germain that had a two goals advantage from when both teams met at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago. The Blues that had already been sentenced to an almost certain elimination by pundits, have somehow managed to bounce back and granted a place on the next round of the competition. Chelsea have had some ups and downs over the current Champions League campaign and the team’s displays have been far from brilliant.
Furthermore, on a domestic level, last Saturday, Chelsea might have compromised their title aspirations since the team lost at home to a fragile Sunderland who are at the bottom of the Premier League table and this might negatively influence the outcome of next Tuesday’s match.
For Atlético’s clash, José Mourinho doesn’t know if he will already be able to count on the Belgian wizard Eden Hazard, who suffered an injury on the team’s last Champions League clash against PSG and who isn't yet fully recovered.
The last time both sides went head-to-head at Vicente Calderón for a UEFA Champions League match was back in 2009, on a match that ended in a 2-2 draw with goals from Sergio Agüero for the home side and from Drogba to the visitors. Back then, Atlético’s campaign was very modest, since the Madrid side did not manage to pass the group stage round. Next Tuesday, things will certainly be different since both sides are not even similar to what they were back then. It will be a clash between two pragmatic teams that will wait for the other team’s mistakes to sentence the match.
Stats: W-6 L-0 D-2
Recent Form - DWWWDW
Stats: W-5 L2- D-1
Recent Form - LWDWLW
Atlético Madrid (4-4-2) – Courtois - Juanfran - Miranda - Godin - Filipe Luis - Tiago - Gabi - Koke - Raúl Garcia - Diego Costa - Villa
Chelsea (4-3-3) – Cech - Ivanovic - Cahill - Terry - Cole - Lampard - Ramires - Oscar - Hazard - Schürrle - Ba