Tuesday night will be definitive for Atletico Madrid’s Champions League participation this season, with the Spanish side facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with the Blues on top form.
The 2015/16 Champions League finalists need to beat Chelsea and hope for Qarabag to get at least a draw against Roma in Italy, in order to qualify.
The task ahead of Atletico is difficult, and made even harder by the fact that Chelsea are in impressive form.
Eden Hazard and former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata have been the key men for Antonio Conte’s side so far this season, and the Blues are unbeaten in their last seven games, up to the third in the Premier League – just behind the two Manchester clubs.
Despite losing to Roma in Italy, and drawing with the Italians in London, a win over Qarabag in their last game has secured Chelsea’s passage into the knockout stages.
Against Atletico they will be playing for top spot in the group, and potentially a more favourable last-16 draw.
Belgian international Hazard was excellent against Atletico in the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, as was Morata, who scored Chelsea’s opening goal that night.
Hazard has scored eight times this season and Morata ten – across all competitions – with Atleti’s closest player to those numbers being Antoine Griezmann, with seven.
Despite experiencing some inconsistency earlier this season, with some questions being raised about Conte continuing as Chelsea manager, his side now look strong once more.