Chelsea FC vs Atletico Madrid: Score Predictions – The Return Leg at the Bridge

What a huge Champions League clash coming up at Stamford Bridge! Following Chelsea’s superb performance in the first leg in which they secured a deserved 1-0 win over Simeone’s soldiers, this will be an even more intriguing clash knowing that this will be the final straw for either the Spanish would-be champions, or the hosts who have undergone a mini resurgence under Tuchel. Given the high stakes of this clash, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social give their predictions as to how the Chelsea FC vs Atletico Madrid will unfold.

Score Predictions – The Chelsea Social (Edit: @cfc_kev)
Score Predictions – The Chelsea Social (Edit: @cfc_kev)

Chelsea FC vs Atletico Madrid – Introduction

A genuine clash of the titans. Chelsea FC vs Atletico Madrid is one of those games that when it was announced, the footballing community took notice. Both teams are regular participants in the competition and proven over the years that on their day, they are a tough nut to crack and can genuinely beat anybody. In particular, Los Colchoneros (the Mattress Makers) have come close in recent seasons to being crowned Champions of Europe only to fall short to cross-town rivals Real Madrid in 2015/16 losing 5-3 on penalties (1-1 after extra time). On the other hand, Chelsea’s last taste of European success came in 2019 when they defeated Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final.

In terms of this season. despite the recent form dip of the visitors, Atletico Madrid still find themselves four points ahead second placed Barcelona in La Liga with 11 games remaining. To be at the summit at this advanced stage of the season is no easy feat and something that should not be taken lightly. Simeone’s soldiers are a pillar of power and relentless execution which has seen them continue to earn the fear and respect of their rivals. While 1-0 down, this will only act to serve them with even more hunger and desire to claw their way back out of this predicament as they’ve done on numerous occasion. A team full of character and fighting spirit.

Speaking of, the Chelsea of old possessed bucket loads of character and fighting spirit, particularly in the Champions League. Among the many heart breaking and soul shattering evenings, Blues fans have been spoiled with many moments of magic in Europe’s premier competition, including where this latest contest will be held, Stamford Bridge.

As Chelsea have taken a deserved lead back with them to the Bridge, Tuchel and his men will be well aware that 1-0 is very slender and thus will need to treat this match almost as if they were on level pegging given the quality of their opponent. One thing that will be different from the first leg is that we know Atletico will need to be a bit more expressive with the ball and in terms of trying to generate some genuine attacking opportunities. While this will be a bit of a cause for concern given their strike power, this flip side is that this will allow Chelsea (if they’re good enough) to exploit the spaces that open up during this period. As such, this is sure to be an intriguing clash and again could be one of those crazy European nights at Stamford Bridge.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the The Chelsea Social team sees the Chelsea FC vs Atletico Madrid game unfolding.

Olivier Giroud scored an unbelievable goal against Atletico Madrid in the first leg. Can he do it again at Stamford Bridge? Image Credit: Chelsea FC via Getty Images.
Olivier Giroud scored an unbelievable goal against Atletico Madrid in the first leg. Can he do it again at Stamford Bridge? Image Credit: Chelsea FC via Getty Images.

RJ (@RJ_Goodthings)

A second leg knock-out tie of the Champions League at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea FC vs Atletico Madrid, it doesn’t get much better than this! These are the games us fans look forward, and even for ones such as myself who live on the other side of the world and have to wake up at all hours of the morning to support our club. When that music comes one, all signs of sleep and fatigue quickly evaporate and are substituted by a strong sense of excitement and nerves. Make no mistake, this is our biggest game of the season and a lot of questions will be answered in terms of how far this team has come over the past few months under Thomas Tuchel.

With Atletico welcoming some key stars back, the Blues will need to be extra concentrated and disciplined so as to stifle a team that we know will need to come out and attack us at some point. Additionally, we will be without the player of the season contender Mason Mount and our metronome Jorginho. As such, I’ll be keeping an extra close eye on the performance of the double pivot, and especially Mateo Kovacic as he was rested against Leeds and therefore I’m expecting a superb display on his part. In terms of how we’ll look to line-up, I believe it will be as follows: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Chilwell, Kovacic, Kante, Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Giroud. That said, we know Tuchel has many tricks up his sleeve so I don’t mind if he surprises us, but as long he is able to ‘pull a rabbit out of a hat’ and secure our passage into the Champions League quarter finals!

In the end, I’m expecting a really tight game with moments of nervousness and brilliance from both teams. In fact, I don’t think we’ll be able to separate the two on the night which is fine by me as it will mean we progress. Here’s hoping!

Final Score: Chelsea FC 1 – 1 Atletico Madrid

Matt (@MattNorth_)

A huge game beckons for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea as we take on Atletico Madrid in the second leg of our Champions League round-of-16 tie. We are currently 1-0 up from first leg against the La Liga leaders, so if we avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge, the Blues will be on their way into the quarter-finals, something we haven’t done since 2014. Olivier Giroud’s stunning bicycle kick was the difference from the first leg against a very defence-minded Atletico side.

However, Diego Simeone’s men will need to change their game plan if they are to progress to the next round which could potentially leave gaps open at the back that the Blues can expose on the counter-attack. Tuchel will be without the suspended Mount and Jorginho for this game which is a huge blow as they’ve been two players that have been excellent since the German’s arrival. The likes of Werner and Havertz in attack will certainly need to step up to help see us through. The Leeds match on Saturday was a very poor result in a game we should have gotten three points from. Attacking-wise, the Blues struggled to create much in front of goal against Leeds but once again were solid defensively with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy having a good game making a number of fine saves. This match will certainly be a frustrating one and it’s important we stay tight defensively and avoid conceding. However, I think we can do that and also score to just about edge this one and go through to the last eight.

Final Score: Chelsea FC 1 – 1 Atletico Madrid

Given Mount's  and Jorginho's absence Mateo Kovacic will be a key player for Chelsea should they wish to progress to the quarter finals. Image Credit: Chelsea FC via Getty Images.
Given Mount’s and Jorginho’s absence Mateo Kovacic will be a key player for Chelsea should they wish to progress to the quarter finals. Image Credit: Chelsea FC via Getty Images.

Travis (@Crossroads_CFC)

Atletico Madrid return to Stamford Bridge for a difficult second leg trailing 1-0 after Olivier Giroud found the difference-making goal from the first leg in Bucharest. The Blues showed that they had just enough to get past the incredibly low block employed by the La Liga leaders. However, it may be a bit foolish to expect more of the same this time around. Chelsea will be without two key players for Thomas Tuchel’s system as Mason Mount and Jorginho are both out via suspension. This alone presents challenging circumstances on top of the already tall order the Blues must match. The last time Atletico came to Stamford Bridge, the Madrid team thrashed Mourinho’s Chelsea and advanced to the Champions League final. The squads are almost entirely different, so there is real hope more of the same won’t happen again.

The Blues will need to continue their strong as steel defence under Tuchel to advance in this match as Atletico are unlikely to sit back in a back 6 and deploy a chronically low block with the entire team behind the ball. Because of this, I expect Atletico to take the match to the Blues much more than previously seen in the first leg. This is not one of Atletico’s strengths, but there are still danger men for the Los Rojiblancos (the Red and Whites) with Luis Suarez, Koke, and Felix. Hopefully Chelsea’s back three can counter these danger men and see out a place in the quarter finals for the first time since 2014. I predict the Blues will persist with Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger in a three at the back formation. Ahead of them I predict it will be Marcos Alonso, Kante, Kovacic, and Reece James. And finally I predict the front 3 will be Pulisic, Havertz, and Giroud. Although this will be a more than difficult match, I expect the Blues will advance.

Final Score: Chelsea FC 1 – 1 Atletico Madrid

Rey (@Rey_Blues30)

Diego Simeone’s Atletico have been a well organised unit for years and as a result, a strong team to face. However, their tactics have come off as pragmatic and we saw that first hand a couple weeks ago in the first leg. Chelsea’s more brave initiative managed to bear fruit as we were able to get a crucial away goal in the first leg, despite it not being at Atletico’s actual home ground due to the covid situation. This slender lead though will not be enough I as predict Atletico will come out of their shell and press us with more urgency than what they did during the last outing. That said, they’ll probably only press in triggers and will most likely try to hit us in transition by forcing mistakes in midfield. I question how well they can keep up their intensity without allowing us some chances offensively. I hope our defence will be sharp enough to deny any sort of dangerous counters, but I also fear about our ruthlessness up top. I certainly think another goal is vital so I predict (hope) we secure a 2-1 victory for the second leg. Up the Chels.

Final Score: Chelsea FC 2 – 1 Atletico Madrid

Rudiger frustrated Suarez and co during the first leg. Can he and his defensive partners do the same again at Stamford Bridge? Daniel Mihăilescu/AFP/Getty Images
Rudiger frustrated Suarez and co during the first leg. Can he and his defensive partners do the same again at Stamford Bridge? Daniel Mihăilescu/AFP/Getty Images

Written By: Matt, Travis, Rey and RJ

Edited By: Ross-John (RJ) Bonaccorsi (@RJ_Goodthings

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