UEFA CL: End of the road for Atletico Madrid?
Chelsea can secure top spot in Group C if they beat Atletico Madrid in their UEFA Champions League clash on Tuesday.
Atletico Madrid’s slim hopes of reaching the knockout stage rely on them getting a win at Stamford Bridge, though they also need to hope Roma fail to beat Qarabag if they're to avoid dropping into the UEFA Europa League.
Michy Batshuayi returned to the bench in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury while on international duty, but David Luiz was out of action entirely and he could be a doubt for Tuesday as a result.
So too were Charly Musonda and Kenedy, who according to Goal's Nizaar Kinsella have been recovering from minor injuries picked up in training, so they too could be doubtful for Tuesday.
As for Atletico Madrid, Juanfran has sat out their last five matches in all competitions with a hamstring injury,
Chelsea's warm-up for the match saw them come from behind to ease to an ultimately comfortable win against Newcastle.
Eden Hazard was key as he grabbed two goals to continue his fine form. He'll be the Blues' primary attacking threat on Tuesday, and Atleti will have their hands full attempting to contain him, but they'll also be wary of Alvaro Morata.
Morata scored against the Magpies and has had an outstanding debut season at Chelsea thus far. The former Real Madrid man's only Champions League goal this season came against Atletico when the two sides met in September, and he'll no doubt be eager to haunt them once again.
Atletico Madrid's form
Los Rojiblancos' lacklustre form has picked up in recent weeks with four consecutive wins, and the goal they shipped in their 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday was the first they've conceded since October.
Kieran Canning of the Agence France-Presse noted their resurgence but doubts it will keep them in Europe's premier competition:
Indeed, getting a win at Stamford Bridge will not be an easy ask with Chelsea's own campaign back on track after some disappointing results both domestically and in Europe in October.
How does group G look like?
The Blues have only failed to win once since their 3-0 defeat to Roma, which was the 1-1 draw with Liverpool that came on the back of a 5,000-mile round trip to Azerbaijan.
An early goal or two for Roma against Qarabag could put a dampener on the proceedings from the visitors' point of view, but Chelsea will still be eager to top their group and to guarantee that, they need to win.
Likewise, should Qarabag take an unlikely lead in Italy, it will no doubt provide a boost to Atletico, so it should still be an engaging clash whatever happens in the group's other match with something at stake for both teams.
Atletico Madrid have had the reputation earning lots of draws this term. Both sides have won two and drawn twice in their previous European meetings. Atleti’s two away games in the Champions League this term have ended goalless. It is however expected that goals will surface.
With the amount of pressure Madrid will be having to qualify, a draw with at most two goals can be guaranteed.