Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are now finding the Premier League just too easy as they strolled to another victory at the weekend over Stoke City away from home. The Blues are now back in action this mid-week but will face their toughest test yet this season when they travel to the Wanda Metropolitano to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
The La Liga giants are undefeated in the domestic league this season but were held to a 0-0 draw by Roma in the first round of the UCL. They will look to take all three points from this tie but Chelsea will not make it any easy. Here is the predicted lineup Conte might field for this tie:
Danny Drinkwater remains the only injury concern for Chelsea ahead of this tie as defender David Luiz is also available, irrespective of his suspension in the domestic league.
Expected lineup (3-4-3):
While Willy Caballero has been decent when called upon, Conte is expected to stick with his first choice shot-stopper in Thibaut Courtois, who should start this game in goal. The ever-reliable Cesar Azpilicueta is one of the first names on the team sheet and he should keep his place in the side, after a productive weekend.
David Luiz has been excellent at the heart of Chelsea’s defence and is expected to start there while Antonio Rudiger and his aggression might just get a chance over Gary Cahill and his experience for Chelsea on this trip to Spain.
Victor Moses has been effective in a wing-back role on the right flank and he should keep his place in the side ahead of Zappacosta, who has made an exciting start to his Chelsea career. Marcos Alonso has done a similar job on the other flank and should keep his place in the side.
French midfielder N’Golo Kante is one of the most consistent players for Chelsea this season and should start in the midfield and should be partnered by his national compatriot Tiemoue Bakayoko, who will add some mettle to Chelsea’s side.
Man of the match in the 4-0 win over Stoke, Alvaro Morata, scored his first hat-trick for the Blues and will want to prove a point, travelling back to Madrid for the first time after his move to England. He should lead the attack for his side.
With Eden Hazard back in the frame, Conte will be happy to use him from the beginning to keep Atletico Madrid under pressure. He should be partnered by Willian, whose defensive discipline should give him a nod ahead of Pedro.
Here is how they might line up: