Atletico Madrid faces Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League 1/8 finals. The match will be played on Tuesday, February 23rd at Arena Națională (Bucharest)
Atletico Madrid has to transfer the quality of football in the Spanish championship to the European cups. Simeone's charges looked weak at the group stage but tore everyone apart in LaLiga. Atlético's game is based on reinforced concrete defense. But recently, the club from Madrid began to work on improving aggression in the attack, as evidenced by the results of the last five matches (2:1, 2:2, 4:2, 2:1, and 3:1). The team has no weak positions, and the human resource allows the Mattress Makers to fight on two fronts. The newcomers of the current season (Suarez, Carrasco, and Kondogbia) have significantly strengthened the roster. Llorente, João Felix, and Hermoso are progressing against the background of past years.
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At the start of the season, the fans of Chelsea were overjoyed at the club's powerful transfer policy. In fact, everything turned out to be more complicated. Lampard was unable to cope with the restructuring of the team, and the newcomers showed low efficiency. Thomas Tuchel was invited to the coaching bridge of the Londoners, and his team gains victorious results in the local arena with certain difficulties. Chelsea's game is far from ideal now. Fans and experts expect the team to make significant progress under the German coach, but it will be difficult to cope with this task without a lengthy training process. In any case, Werner, Havertz, Chilwell, and Ziyech are capable of more than occasional bursts of quality football.
It will be a pragmatic match with an eye on the result of a two-legged confrontation. Atletico always plays carefully in the first games in the playoffs, skillfully coping with its opponents in the center of the field. Under the leadership of Tuchel, Chelsea is in no hurry to open up from the attacking side. Therefore, we are likely to see a rather tense match without a goal extravaganza.
Prediction for the match: Under 2.5 goals scored