Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea Betting Preview – Champions League, February 23, 2021
Bucharest’s Arena Nationala is the venue for the first leg of Atletico Madrid and Chelsea’s Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday, February 23.
The first leg is being played at a neutral venue in Romania due to travel restrictions, meaning there is no home-field advantage to take into consideration.
I discuss the odds before sharing my Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea prediction and pick.
Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea Odds
If this match was being played in Spain, the price for the Atletico Madrid win (2.63) would almost certainly be a lot lower. But as you can see, the odds gap is very narrow here.
The leading online betting sites view Chelsea (2.88) as the slight outsider, although the price for the draw (3.00) isn’t much bigger.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams.
Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea Preview
There was a point earlier in the season when it looked as though Atletico Madrid was going to run away with the La Liga title.
A remarkable run of 15 wins in 16 games saw Diego Simeone’s men open up a seemingly unassailable lead at the summit of the table, leaving Barcelona and Real Madrid trailing in their wake.
But having only managed to win one of their previous four domestic matches, the gap between Los Colchoneros and Los Blancos now stands at just three points.
Following a couple of below-par draws, Atletico suffered a shock 2-0 loss to Levante on Saturday. That result saw Simeone’s side lose at home for the first time since December 2019, although Lucas Torreira had a goal ruled out and a Luis Suarez free-kick hit the post.
Earlier in the campaign, Atleti won just two of their six Champions League group games, ending up seven points behind Bayern Munich in Group A. After scoring seven goals and conceding eight, the Spaniards advanced with a goal difference of –1.
Atletico Madrid have suffered their first La Liga home defeat since December 2019 ? pic.twitter.com/eP5x9k74LL— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 20, 2021
Chelsea is aiming to progress past the last 16 for the first time since the 2013/14 Champions League campaign. The English side reached the semi-finals that season, but it will be difficult to emulate that achievement this time around.
Yes, the Blues have made some obvious improvements since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard last month. A six-game unbeaten streak – 4 wins, 2 draws – has significantly enhanced the club’s top-four hopes in the EPL, yet there is still plenty of work to do.
The Londoners enjoyed an unbeaten group-stage campaign, beating Krasnodar, Rennes, and Sevilla on their way to finishing one point clear at the top of Group E.
Two 4-0 thrashings, along with a 3-0 victory, contributed to Chelsea’s 14 goals during the group stage, while the team only conceded two goals in six games.
Tuchel is clearly still trying to figure out what his best team is, although it’s fair to say that Chelsea’s squad is stacked with options in every department.
Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea Pick
Simeone’s men have turned Wanda Metropolitano into a fortress in recent times, especially on the European stage. But with the first leg being played at a neutral venue, Atletico won’t have a first-leg advantage.
Chelsea has improved defensively under Tuchel, keeping four clean sheets in six games. With that in mind, I can see the Blues frustrating Atleti and snatching an important draw on Tuesday.