Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid have emerged as Champions League specialists over the last few years, but unfortunately for them that speciality doesn’t extend itself to the final itself, with both of their recent finals ending in defeat to arch rivals Real Madrid.
They will be hoping that this year breaks the chain, but they didn’t get off to the best of starts as they were held to a goalless draw away to Roma. This is by no means a bad result, but they will have been hoping to get the win rather than having to play catch up.
It’s Chelsea who they will be trying to catch up as well, with the Premier League champions opening their tally in the Champions League with a 6-0 battering of Azerbaijani minnows Qarabag. They have since won two and drawn one of their three domestic games, but a trip to Atletico Madrid’s newly opened stadium is an ominous thought.
Overall this season the hosts have managed four wins and three draws from their seven games, with their failures largely being down to a lack of firepower. Defensively they have remained resolute, keeping four clean sheets, but they have failed to score against both Valencia and Roma and now face the tactically astute Antonio Conte.
Chelsea looked to have lost their defensive stability at the start of this season as they instantly shipped three at home to Burnley, but since then they have kept a clean sheet in four of their six competitive games and have returned to their best at the back.
It’s no secret that both Simeone and Conte pride themselves on the defensive stability of their teams, and that makes this fixture look like an intriguing, if a little boring for the neutral, clash of two very tactical minds. We could be in for a low scoring affair on Wednesday, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see some clean sheets on the cards.
Nine of Atletico Madrid’s last 13 Champions League games have seen at least one team fail to find the net, and in Chelsea they come up against a side who have seen both teams score in just two of their last six competitive games. Odds of 4/5 for Both Teams Not to Score look good value for money, so that’s what we’re backing. With both teams so evenly matched we’re also opting for a draw at 23/10 and a 0-0 correct score predictions at 7/1.