A massive victory at the weekend to dent Liverpool’s title hopes is a sure morale booster as Jose Mourinho prepares for yet another vital European encounter against Atletico Madrid. Chelsea go into this game well rested after Mourinho decided to leave out all but four of his Champions League starters for the second leg tie.
Mark Schwarzer, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ashley Cole, and Branislav Ivanovic are the only four players to have played at the weekend looking to start on Wednesday. The Chelsea manager will play a completely rested attacking line with Willian, Oscar, Eden Hazard, and Fernando Torres all fit to start. With Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel suspended for the tie, David Luiz and Ramires will look to deputize in defensive midfield. Samuel Eto’o and John Terry are currently a doubt for the match with Petr Cech out for the rest of the season.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Luis, Garcia, Tiago, Suarez, Koke, Costa, Diego
La-Liga leaders Atletico Madrid will face a strong Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge with a 0-0 aggregate scoreline. Any goal for Diego Simeone’s side will be vital. Of their last five games, the Spanish side have notched four victories and one draw from last week’s encounter with the Blues. A recent win at the weekend against Valencia put them a step closer to being crowned Spanish champions. Simeone will have a full selection of players up to face his opponents with top scorer Diego Costa looking to put his name on the score-sheet. Suspended Gabi Fernandez will take no part in this match and right-back Javier Manquillo also missing the match through injury.
We've done it before we can do it again believe always belive! #cfc
— eddie malone (@chelseaed01) April 30, 2014
Last time everyone assumed we would park the bus we came out and handled City at the Etihad. #CFC
— CFC Babble (@CFCbabble) April 30, 2014
— Charlotte Healy (@Charlotte_Healy) April 30, 2014
Back in 2009, Chelsea came away with a 4-0 victory at home against Atletico Madrid as this would be a dream result for the Blues. However, the Spanish leaders are looking very strong this year and will do all they can to ruin the party.
Diego Costa is one of the best strikers in the world this time around with seven goals in seven Champions League appearances this season, and netting a further 27 more goals for his club in the Spanish La Liga. If Chelsea slip up even once, he will surely make them pay with his lethal finishing.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 16 clashes with Spanish sides in the Champions League (W6 D10), with their last defeat coming against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in February 2006.
Atletico Madrid and Chelsea have met four times previously, three times in the Champions League and once in the European Super Cup; both teams have won once along with two draws.
Chelsea are unbeaten against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League (W1 D2); having met in the 2009/10 Group Stages before their 0-0 draw in the first leg of this tie.
Atletico have travelled to England nine times previously in European competition (excluding qualifiers); winning only once (at Leicester City in September 1997, D4 L4).
Atletico Madrid have reached the semi-finals of the European Cup/Champions League for the first time since 1974 when they eventually lost in the final against Bayern Munich after a replay.
45% of Atletico’s goals in the Champions League this season have been scored in the opening and closing 15 minutes of games (10 out of 22).
Atletico Madrid are the only team unbeaten in the Champions League this season (eight wins, three draws).
Chelsea have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the seventh time since 2003/04, the joint-highest tally with Barcelona in that time.
Chelsea have only lost one of their last 11 Champions League matches in the knockout stages (1-3 v PSG in this season’s quarter finals first leg).
61% of Chelsea’s goals in the Champions League this season have been scored in the first-half (11 out of 18).
86% of goals conceded by Chelsea in the Champions League this season have come in the second-half (6 out of 7).
Diego Costa has scored seven goals in seven Champions League games (one assist).
This is the eighth time in 10 full seasons as manager that José Mourinho has reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. It’s the third time with Chelsea after 2005 and 2007; however, he’s never made it to the final with the Blues.
Chelsea have never lost a semi-final leg in any European competition at home (W8 D4; in any of Champions League, Europa League, Cup Winners Cup and Fairs Cup).
Chelsea have won their last five Champions League knockout matches at Stamford Bridge, keeping a clean sheet in the last three of these.
Chelsea managed just five shots (inc. blocked) in the first leg. They have only attempted fewer in one CL game this season (one v Basle on 26/11/2013).