Atletico v Chelsea preview

03 November 2009 10:56
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Chelsea can secure progression to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with victory over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night, in a match that can be seen live on Sky Sports Xtra and HD3.

The Blues have won their opening three games in Group D and produced an excellent performance last time out to crush Atletico 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.

They will now be looking to pick up three more points at Vicente Calderon and head into the clash full of confidence.

Carlo Ancelotti's men have scored 13 goals without reply in three matches since their last European encounter, sweeping aside Blackburn before twice beating Bolton 4-0.

Saturday's victory at the Reebok Stadium will have been especially welcome as Chelsea had endured a couple of difficult moments on the road earlier in the season.

Didier Drogba turned in another dynamic display against Bolton and is set to make his first Champions League appearance of 2009/10 in Spain after serving a three-match suspension.

The Ivory Coast striker picked up a minor leg problem at the weekend but is fit to feature, meaning Salomon Kalou may have to sit out despite impressing in the home fixture against Atletico.

Ashley Cole (knee) and Hilario (head) are both back in the squad and will be assessed prior to kick-off.

However, Jose Bosingwa (knee), John Obi Mikel (ankle) and Yuri Zhirkov (knee) are all still sidelined.

Atletico newsAtletico are currently bottom of the group with just one point and may need to win their three remaining games to reach the knockout stages.

They have had a miserable start to the Spanish domestic season as well and are languishing in the Primera Liga relegation zone.

To make matters worse, new coach Quique Sanchez Flores will be without the injured quartet of Mariano Pernia (broken collarbone), Ignacio Camacho, Juan Valera (left adductor) and Roberto (thigh).

Flores, who replaced Abel Resino after the loss in London, admits Atletico may have to settle for a third-place finish in the group as they are also five points adrift of Porto.

"Our objective is to stay alive in the three competitions we're in, but realistically to play in the Europa League wouldn't be bad as our goal is to continue in Europe," he said.

"Now we have two big matches against Chelsea and Real Madrid which will serve as extra motivation for the players and supporters.

"I'm not thinking about keeping players back for the Madrid game, and will put out my strongest team against Chelsea."

Source: SKY_Sports

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