Betting underdogs Chelsea will throw a challenge against Atletico

This is When Pride is on the Line

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid

It’s not quite a winner takes-all clash.

But in what was always going to be a tough Group C, the importance for both sides, particularly Atletico Madrid, cannot be downplayed.

Defeated finalists in 2014 and 2016, Diego Simeone’s men win more football games than most but the betting odds are truly stacked against them this time.

Even if they see off Chelsea, already qualified, there’s no guarantee Los Colchoneros will progress to the knockout stage of Europe’s top competition.

That’s because Roma are sports betting certs to see off FK Qarabag and seal their place in the last 16.

If Atletico do triumph at Stamford Bridge, it won’t be their last-gasp defeat at home to the west Londoners in September which will have cost them but their failure to see off the Azerbaijan minnows home and away.

Their recent form is much improved, they remain unbeaten in La Liga and turned around their weekend match with Real Sociedad – former Chelsea man Filipe Luis and Antoine Griezmann the scorers in their 2-1 win.

After that victory, Simeone praised his side and spoke of a renewed energy, urging them to show further pride, intensity and courage.

They will need all those attributes to win in London but it’s certainly do-able – but will it be enough?

Such is the position Chelsea can afford not to win this game.

Eden Hazard is in his best form of the season and will likely be their main threat, alongside former Real frontman Alvaro Morata, who netted in Chelsea’s win in Spain.

But win they must if they want to top the group and the supposed advantages that brings.

This should make this Stamford Bridge contest – a repeat of the 2014 semi-final – quite a spectacle.

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