After a commendable 4-0 away win at Bet365 Stadium against Stoke City, Chelsea are due to make a trip to Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday to face Atletico Madrid in what could be their toughest game in Group C of the Champions League.
Antonio Conte’s men have inked a decent start to their Premier League season, having collected 13 points from their first 6 outings and are placed at the 3rd spot in the league table. Here is how we expect the Blues to line up against Diego Simeone’s troops.
Thibaut Courtois should be fine to face his former club this midweek despite hurting himself whilst colliding with his teammate Gary Cahill and Stoke City’s striker Peter Crouch last weekend. The Belgian is in a fine nick and he has to continue his solidity between the sticks to enable the progress of his employers in the Champions League.
Ahead of him, we expect a three-man defensive wall comprising of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Cahill to shield Courtois. Luiz is anticipated to make his return after serving the first of his three-game domestic suspension.
Azpilicueta would be one of the first names to be inked in the starting line-up owing to his spectacular form whereas Cahill’s experience and resilience should also be seen from the very beginning.
Wingbacks play a very important role in the tactical nous of Conte and we expect the Italian to station summer signing Davide Zappacosta at the right wingback position and Marcos Alonso at the left. Alonso has chiselled a productive season so far and his presence in the starting XI would make complete sense.
Zappacosta has dazzled in the Chelsea shirt as his relentless toil, ability to manoeuvre juicy deliveries into the box and the undeniable knack to clear the dangers from the offensive endeavours of opposition make him an appealing commodity.
N’Golo Kante is expected to be teed up alongside Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park. The duo would be handed the responsibilities of dictating the tempo of the game, break Atletico Madrid’s defence with their crisp passes and would be urged to maraud forward to score goals as well as to create ample amount of chances for their teammates.
To be stationed up front in order to spearhead the attack of the Pensioners should be Alvaro Morata. From the left wing, Eden Hazard is expected to start to showcase his calibre whereas Willian is likely to be pencilled at the right wing to provide a sharp attacking tooth.