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Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
22 February 2021
Tuesday 23 February
Arena Nationala – Champions League
Atletico Madrid return to Champions League action with the last 16 first leg ‘home’ tie against Premier League giants Chelsea. The game has been moved to Bucharest due to Covid-19 travelling restrictions on entering Spain.
Atletico Madrid knocked Chelsea out of the 2013/14 Champions League semi-finals on route to losing to Real Madrid in the final, but the Blues won away in Madrid in the 2017/18 group stages. Check out the Spin Sports blog to see if Thomas Tuchel can kick off his European fixutres with a positive result in this one and stay on top of the online football betting.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone Will make a late decision on the fitness of Jose Gimenez to start, but star striker Joao Felix should be fit to return to the starting line-up.
Tuchel has a headache to deal with in attack as Tammy Abraham looks certain to miss out through injury meaning France international Olivier Giroud is set to start.
Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea Preview and Predictions
Atletico Madrid are dominating the La Liga title race in 2021 with a six point lead over rivals Real Madrid, but with a game in hand at the top. Simeone’s side prepare to ‘host’ Chelsea on the back of an excellent run of form, with just one defeat in their last 13 games in league and cup action.
Tuchel’s start to life as Chelsea boss has gone very smoothly with five wins and a draw so far in FA Cup and Premier League games. However, a return to Champions League action will present a different challenge for the German coach as he looks to maintain his positive momentum at the club.
With both sides in excellent form in the last month, there is little to pick between them ahead of what should be a tight encounter in Romania, and a draw, priced at 3.10, could be the best option. Atleti, the home side, are 2.70 for the win while Chelsea are 2.85.
Luis Suarez has been the key man for Simeone so far this season, with 16 league goals in 2020-21 placing him at the top of the domestic scoring charts, and the Uruguayan will be a big threat to Chelsea’s backline.
A 1-1 draw at 7.00
An away goal will give Chelsea an edge going into the second leg, but they have found a new resilience under Tuchel and Atletico will find the Blues difficult to break down. This is a tie that will be settled in London but Chelsea can grab a slight advantage here.
Under 2.5 total goals scored at 1.58
Simeone’s side are back to their tight best this season, and they have only scored more than two goals in one game twice in 2021, with Chelsea not managing more than two a game under Tuchel. The cagey nature of two-legged European ties also often mean the first leg is a close encounter.