The Champions League 2014 gears up for another mouthwatering clash as Atletico Madrid take on 2012 champions Chelsea while two European superpowers Bayern Munich and Real Madrid go head to head in another semi final. Chelsea have reached the last four seven times in the last ten seasons while for Atletico, this is their first semi final appearance in the Champions League. Atletico reached the semi final in an European Cup 40 years ago. Both teams are looking to seal a ticket to Lisbon, after having come all the way to the final four of Europe’s most elite competition. Chelsea put up a spirited performance winning 2-0 against PSG at Stamford Bridge after going down 1-3 at Paris. Atletico went past their domestic rivals Barcelona to make their way to the semis much against the odds. Both teams have been defensively pretty solid and both of them have it in their ranks to get the better of another. It will be the meeting of two tactical masterminds Diego Simeone and Jose Mourinho.
Atletico Madrid: Air of controversy involving Thibaut Courtois has ended and the goalkeeper has been cleared to play for Atletico against his parent club, Chelsea. They will also be bolstered by the return of in form striker Diego Costa from injury. The rest of the squad is available for selection
Chelsea: Eden Hazard looks set to miss his trip to Vicente Calderon after failing to appear in training at Cobham. The Belgian has not featured since limping off with a calf problem in the first half of the quarter-final win over Paris St-Germain. The Blues will also miss right back Branislav Ivanovic due to suspension. Rumours are that Ashley Cole may not make a return to the side. Mourinho is looking at different options, including replacing Ivanovic with David Luiz and leaving Azpilicueta on the left.
Juanfran – Miranda – Godin – Filipe
Gabi – Tiago
Arda Turan – Koke
David Luiz – Gary Cahill – John Terry – Cesar Azpilicueta
Ramires – Frank Lampard
Oscar – Willian – Andre Schurrle
Atletico Madrid: Atletico come into the match with a 2-0 win over Elche. They have been in pretty good form, with Diego Costa scoring at will, and also have been solid at the back. They currently sit pretty on top of La Liga above 2nd placed Real Madrid.
Chelsea: Chelsea are coming into the match losing 1-2 to Sunderland ending Mourinho’s 77 match unbeaten home league record. But they created 30 odd chances but still couldn’t score; misfiring forwards have been Chelsea’s major problem. But they have been solid at the back with the Terry-Cahill pair really clicking this season for the Blues. But Chelsea have been good all season, currently sitting in 2nd place in the Premier League behind Liverpool.
Prediction: Atletico 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 2-1 Atletico