Chelsea aim to conquer Europe once again and reclaim CL crown
Chelsea and Atletico Madrid have played each other just three times competitively, with each match containing four or more goals, so take odds of 15/4 for the scoreline total to be over 3.5 again.
Champions League outsiders Chelsea (9/2) will put their Premier League title challenge aside, as they prepare for their crunch semi-final first leg game away to La Liga leaders Atletico (7/2).
Jose Mourinho has won Europe’s elite competition twice before, but never with the Blues, so the Portuguese will be all the determined, especially since his side’s recent slip in the domestic league.
The west Londoners come into this tie on the back of an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat to basement club Sunderland – the first time Mourinho has been beaten with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league – so spirits are certainly not high.
Despite their recent inconsistent form – losing four of their last nine games in all competitions – they will remember that when they last won the Champions League two years ago, they finished that season sixth in the Premier league.
Chelsea are priced at 7/2 for victory at the Vicente Calderon, and evens to qualify for the final.
Fernando Torres will be facing his old club just for the second time since his departure and, with Samuel Eto’o ruled out of this fixture, the Spaniard is set to start. He has odds of 11/4 to score anytime.
Chelsea will also be without Branislav Ivanovic, meaning Cesar Azpilicueta could be moved to right back, and Ashley Cole to make his first start for the Blues in nearly three months. Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, are cup-tied.
Another player who has represented both clubs is Atleti’s on-loan keeper Thibaut Coutois. There has been much talk surrounding the situation, but the Belgium international has been cleared to face his parent club. You can back his temporary Spanish club at 21/20 to keep a clean sheet, or 17/10 to win to nil.
Atletico (odds-on favourites both for victory in this match at 10/11, and the tie at 5/6) will be hoping that star striker Diego Costa, who has 35 goals in all competitions this season, will be on target once again.
The Brazilian-born Spain international has scored in each of his last six La Liga games, and has seven in six Champions League appearances this campaign, so back him at 6/5 to net anytime, or 6/1 to get two or more.