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Blues look to overcome Atletico to reach 3rd consecutive European final


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Chelsea take on Atletico in the 2nd leg of the UEFA Champions League semi finals on Wednesday hoping to make it to three European finals in a row. A 0-0 draw in the first leg has kept the tie evenly balanced. Chelsea have the home advantage but a score draw is enough for Atletico to progress.
About the Opposition
Two wins away from the La Liga title and in the semi finals of the Champions League. Atletico's rise to Europe's elite has been steady but they're getting there under former player turned manager Diego Simeone. As Carlo Ancelotti put it, "Atletico Madrid play like Simeone played…tough, focused, and tactically perfect". In the weekend when Chelsea were celebrating their 2-0 win at Anfield, Atletico were getting the job done, as they have all season, at the Mestalla against Valencia. Predominantly a counter attacking side, Atletico had to adjust their approach in the first leg when Chelsea were happy to let them take the initative and be on the front foot. Apart from a few dangerous balls into the box, Chelsea were generally untroubled at the back as they frustrated the Spanish side out of their comfort zone. But a 0-0 draw is not the worst result for Atletico. They have the away goals advantage in their hands meaning Chelsea cannot rely on a draw tonight.
Team News
Gabi is suspended with former Chelsea man Tiago expected to fill in. Arda Turan has a slight groin problem but he'll be in contention to play. 3 players - Insua, Koke and Juanfran are a booking away from missing the next match
Expected XI: Thibaut Courtois; Filipe Luis, Diego Godín, Miranda, Juanfran; Koke, Mario Suárez, Tiago, Raúl García; Diego, Diego Costa
Chelsea got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win at Anfield on Sunday. A rotated XI featuring just three first-choice players did a job on Liverpool and won the game on the counter. A completely different side will take the field tonight with only Schwarzer Azpilicueta and Ivanovic expected to retain their place but the win has given Chelsea momentum heading into the 2nd leg.
Chelsea's approach will be to remain cautious, defend against the counter-attack and spring forward on the break - Mourinho's general approach to big games this season and an approach that has worked extremely well. The midfield will be completely rejigged for this game and unlike the first leg, Mourinho is expected to commit more players forward and press higher in the pitch but the worrying thought is that Atletico are not vulnerable to the counter-attacking approach Chelsea have adopted in these games. Their defence is physical and doesn't give much away, so the long balls, long throws Chelsea played against PSG and Liverpool for example, is unlikely to cause too many problems for Atletico. This will be Chelsea's toughest test yet this season.
Team News
Chelsea were handed a massive boost when captain John Terry, Samuel Eto'o and Eden Hazard took to the training pitch yesterday and by all accounts were moving freely, without any sign of an injury. Incredibly, Petr Cech, expected to be out for months also trained but manager Jose Mourinho confirmed he won't be playing tonight. Mikel and Lampard are suspended. Matic and Salah cup-tied but the rest are available for selection. Willian and David Luiz are a yellow card away from suspension.
Expected XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; David Luiz, Ramires; Hazard Willian Schurrle; Eto'o
Stats and Facts
- Atletico are the only unbeaten side left in the competition
- Atletico also boast the meanest defence, conceding just five goals
- Atlético have won only once in nine away fixtures against English sides, losing four and drawing four
- Chelsea have kept 7 cleansheets in 11 Champions League matches this season
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 15 clashes with Spanish sides in the Champions League (W6 D9)
- Six of the Seven goals Chelsea have conceded in the Champions League has come in the 2nd half
- Diego Costa has seven goals in the Champions League this season but he is trumped by Torres, Eto'o and Demba Ba who have scored nine between them
Match Odds (Final Result/Full Time)
Chelsea WIN - 5/4
DRAW - 9/4
Atletico WIN - 12/5

*Odds obtained from SkyBet*
Match Coverage
Depending on where you are from, you can watch the match in the following channels:

United Kingdom: Sky Sports 1HD, Sky GO
United States: FOX Sports 1 USA, FOX Soccer 2Go
Middle East: beIN Sport
Brazil: ESPN Brasil
Belgium: Belgacom 11+, 2BE, RTL, TVI
India: TEN Sports LIVE, Ten Action, Ten HD

For additional regions, you can check out the TV schedule for the match here.

There should be many match streams that can be found online if your local sports channels are not broadcasting the game or if you happen to be busy and cannot catch the game live, follow TalkChelsea on Twitter as it would provide live match commentary on the action.
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