Preview: Chelsea v Atletico

Chelsea

Already qualified UEFA Champions League Group C leaders, Chelsea, face Atlético Madrid on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge in the competition, with the Spanish side needing a win to stand any chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.

5 December 2017  
UEFA Champions League
Group C
Kick-off: 19:45 local time 
Venue: Stamford Bridge 

Referee: D. Makkelie 
Assistants: M. Diks, H. Steegstra
Fourth official: J. de Vries 

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Chelsea 6 2 2 2
Atletico 6 2 2 2

Previous encounter:

Atlético Madrid 1-2 Chelsea (27 September 2017) UEFA Champions League Group C

Atlético scorer: A. Griezmann (40')
Chelsea scorers: Álvaro Morata (59'), M. Batshuayi (90+4) 

Players to watch:

With eight goals in 18 matches in all competitions, Eden Hazard is in red-hot form for the home side. His brace in the recent 3-1 victory over Newcastle United came on the back of a sparkling all-around display for the Blues. He could prove to be a real handful for the visitors who need to push numbers forward in pursuit of the win.

Antoine Griezmann is starting to discover some of his best form in front of goal after a relatively slow start to the season. With seven goals in 17 appearances in all competitions, the talented 26-year-old France international could be a key man in London. A top performance from the star forward on the big stage could reaffirm his place as one of Europe's best players. 

Team form and quotes:

Chelsea are in good form having not lost in six matches and picking up five wins along the way. The club have already qualified for the Round of 16 but a victory against Los Rojiblancos will secure top spot in Group C. 

As such, manager Antonio Conte was in bullish mood ahead of the game. He told reporters, "I think Madrid is always a strong team and now I think they are in a good moment of form but is the same for us for sure. The game will be open because Atlético Madrid will try to win, but it will be the same for us. The only difference is that the final result for them is too important. We are already qualified.”

Meanwhile, for Madrid, a win is imperative to stand any chance of advancing in the tournament. Should the club get the victory and were Qarabağ to hold Roma in Italy to at least a point, Diego Simeone's men could go through. 

Nonetheless, the 47-year-old is realistic about the challenge facing his team. He said, "It's not going to be a simple game. We need to take the game to where we feel we can hurt them. It's a personal challenge to fight for everything we've worked for these last few years and keep our values there." 

Team news:

David Luiz is will miss the contest on Tuesday due to an ongoing knee issue, with Conte insisting there is no rift between himself and the player. Otherwise, the Blues are virtually at full strength.

For Atlético, Stefan Savić is expected to return to the starting line-up after missing the club's last Champions League game due to a ban. Thomas Partey looks likely to start at right-back with Juanfran missing out with injury.   

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