The Spanish side lost 4-0 at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago to slip to the bottom of UEFA Champions League Group D.
They have picked up just one point from three games and Rodriguez insists nothing less than victory will suffice against the Blues at Vicente Calderon.
"This match is decisive for us," he told skysports.com. "If we want to stay in the Champions League it is essential to get a win against Chelsea.
"That will not be easy but Atletico need to change and this could be the moment.
"The 4-0 defeat in London was very hard to take but nobody could doubt that the Blues were superior.
"With the help of our supporters it is possible to do well in the Champions League so the atmosphere will be key."
SensationalDidier Drogba is available for Chelsea after completing a three-match European suspension but Rodriguez does not believe that makes the challenge any tougher.
"With Drogba or without Drogba this squad is sensational. We will have to play our best game of the season and give 150 per cent," he said.
"Our attacking line-up has a lot of quality and I am convinced that Kun (Sergio Aguero) and Diego (Forlan) will do well.
"To collect nine out of nine points is not easy but we need to start with a win against Chelsea."