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Chelsea v Atletico Madrid preview

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21 Oct 2009 09:54:07

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid preview

Chelsea will be looking to maintain their 100 per cent record in Europe when they entertain Atletico Madrid. The Blues have edged out Porto and Apoel Nicosia in their opening two fixtures in Group D and could all but secure their safe passage into the knockout stages with another three points on Wednesday. Their domestic form of late has not been the best, with two defeats suffered in their last three Premier League outings, but they remain formidable opponents on home soil. In contrast, Atletico head to Stamford Bridge in the middle of an alarming slump which is threatening to undermine their entire season. Just one victory in the league so far has already seen them cast adrift of the top four in Spain, while they have mustered only one point from their European endeavours this term. Atletico have also won just once in eight previous visits to England, overcoming Leicester in the Uefa Cup back in 1997, while Chelsea's solitary defeat to Spanish opponents in eleven outings in front of their own supporters came against Barcelona during the 2005/06 campaign. Right-back Branislav Ivanovic is set to continue deputising for Jose Bosingwa in midweek as Chelsea go in search of a third consecutive continental clean sheet. Bosingwa was suspended for the opening two games of their European campaign and a knee injury, collected against Aston Villa last Saturday, has ruled him out of their latest outing. Didier Drogba sits out the last of his three-match ban and John Obi Mikel returns after an ankle injury. Brazilian defender Alex is fit again after a groin problem but lacks match practice. Atletico boss Abel Resino will be hoping to welcome talismanic frontman Diego Forlan back into his starting XI. The Uruguayan was rested at the weekend after complaining of fatigue but is likely to be drafted straight back into the side. Luis Perea and Sergio Asenjo both made their comebacks from injury against Osasuna on Saturday and could start against the Blues. However, Mariano Pernia (broken collarbone), Ignacio Camacho (hip), Juan Valera (left adductor) and Roberto (thigh) are all definitely out.


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