Thomas Tuchel will be aiming to guide Chelsea through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the first time of asking as the Blues welcome Atletico Madrid to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening.
The two teams head into their last-16 second leg with Chelsea holding a slender 1-0 advantage after Olivier Giroud netted the winning goal in Madrid. It means that Atletico Madrid have to win in order to progress. Meanwhile, a draw in West London would be more than enough to Chelsea to reach the last eight for the first time since being semi-finalists during the 2013/14 campaign under Jose Mourinho.
As it stands, it is the Londoners who are more fancied. They can be backed at a price of 13/10 with Betfair to win the match, whilst they sit at odds of 2/9 to progress. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid, who have been Champions League quarter-finalists in five out of the last seven seasons, are at 12/5 to win and 31/10 to progress past the Blues.
A draw, which would see the home side squeeze through on aggregate, could be a clever bet considering that three out of the last four of Chelsea’s games at home to Spanish opposition have ended in a stalemate. That to happen once again can be plumped for at a price 11/5 with William Hill.
Of course, the first goal will be extremely key in this tie, with Atletico wiping out not only Chelsea’s aggregate lead but also their away goals advantage if they strike first. They certainly have the players capable of finding the net at Stamford Bridge. Luis Suarez, who has scored 18 goals so far this season but none in the Champions League, is actually the favourite to find the back of the net first at odds of 3/1 with Betfred. Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud has been lethal for the Blues in Europe this season, with six goals in just five appearances. The Frenchman sits at a price of 7/2 to score first following his goal against Atleti in the first leg.
Unlike the visitors, who actually have no injury concerns at all heading into the tie at Stamford Bridge, Tuchel may have to make a few changes to his starting XI. Midfielders Jorginho and Mason Mount are suspended so will likely be replaced by Mateo Kovacic and Timo Werner, who were on the bench in the weekend draw against Leeds United. Tammy Abraham and Thiago Silva are still doubts with an ankle and thigh problem respectively.