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UEFA Champions League

  • April 22, 2014
  • • 14:45
  • • Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
  • Referee: J. Eriksson
  • • Attendance: 52560
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WilliamHill
Atl. Madrid 1.80
Draw 3.30
Chelsea 5.00

Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid - Chelsea

Jose Mourinho is still seething after last weekend's loss to Sunderland and now his Blues must take on a side with great momentum after an eighth straight win in La Liga.

Jose Mourinho will be hoping more sincere congratulations are in order when Chelsea visits Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

The Portuguese was a frustrated figure as he witnessed his Blues side lose ground in the Premier League title race in a 2-1 setback to Sunderland on Saturday, a defeat that saw his 77-match unbeaten league run at Stamford Bridge come to an end.

Following that disappointment, Mourinho's postgame news conference had a sarcastic feel to it, as he offered congratulations to official Mike Dean — who had awarded Sunderland a controversial penalty that was converted by former Chelsea forward Fabio Borini — as well as Mike Riley, the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, which is responsible for appointing referees to Premier League matches.

Now, the 51-year-old must prepare his charges and focus on what is likely to be Chelsea's best chance of silverware this season.

But victory will not come easy in Tuesday's semifinal first-leg encounter at the Vicente Calderon, against an Atleti side that refuses to relinquish its grasp on the top spot in La Liga.

Diego Simeone's men have won eight straight matches in the Spanish top flight in what has been a superb campaign and remains the favorite to dethrone reigning champion Barcelona. Perhaps more impressively was the way that Atleti ensured its first semifinal in Europe's premier competition since 1974, as it overcame Barca 2-1 on aggregate in the last eight. The way in which Simeone's side quelled the threat of superstar Lionel Messi over the two legs was a particular highlight.

However, Chelsea has often proved its mettle in the Champions League in recent seasons, including lifting the famous trophy in 2012 following a penalty shootout victory over current champion Bayern Munich.

Furthermore, in Mourinho — who is sure to face a hostile reception from a partisan crowd following his tenure in charge of rival Real Madrid — Chelsea has a coach who is looking to create history by becoming the first man to triumph in the Champions League with three different teams, following successes with Porto and Inter.

Indeed, Chelsea's progression to the final four was equally as impressive as Atleti's, as the Stamford Bridge outfit defeated Ligue 1 champion Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on home soil to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit and progress on away goals.

If Chelsea is to leave the Spanish capital with a first-leg victory, it will do so without suspended defender Branislav Ivanovic, while attacker Eden Hazard remains a doubt with a calf problem.

Intriguingly, on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is set to face his parent club, with the question of his availability the cause of much controversy following the semifinal draw.

Elsewhere, the Rojiblancos will monitor the fitness of winger Arda Turan, who has recently returned to training following a groin injury.

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Available Squads
28Thibaut CourtoisGoalkeeper
2Diego GodínDefender
-Filipe LuisDefender
20JuanfranDefender
23MirandaDefender
4Mario SuárezMidfielder
6KokeMidfielder
8Raúl GarcíaMidfielder
14GabiMidfielder
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1Dani AranzubiaGoalkeeper
3Toby AlderweireldDefender
5TiagoMidfielder
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21Cristian RodríguezMidfielder
20José SosaMidfielder
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26John TerryDefender
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8Frank LampardMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
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23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
27Nathan AkeDefender
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