Jose Mourinho may have won eight of his nine clashes with Atletico Madrid as a manager, but figuring out reasons to back Chelsea to triumph at the Vicente Calderon are as difficult as identifying how David Moyes was doing a good job at Manchester United.
At first glance, Atletico may be deemed a tad short at an odds-on 17/20 to beat Chelsea, but on deeper digging, this is more than a fair price.
After all, Atletico have triumphed in all five of their Champions League home games this season, which includes successes over Porto, AC Milan and Barcelona.
Furthermore, Diego Simeone’s men have won seven of their last eight in all competitions at home and all seven were secured without even conceding a goal.
Real Madrid are the club to spoil the run, when Cristiano Ronaldo’s late equaliser earned Real Madrid a 2-2 draw in early March.
With Chelsea also having only scored twice across their last four away outings in all competitions, Samuel Eto’o missing the Madrid trip and Eden Hazard still struggling with a calf problem, the Atletico win to nil holds further appeal at 33/20.
Another reason to side with Atletico is their historical record in Spain against English opposition, having avoided defeat in all nine occurrences, which includes five victories.
For punters looking towards other slightly bigger-priced bets for the first leg of this Champions League semi final, this pair are worthy of consideration.
Atletico Madrid winning 1-0 can be backed at 9/2 and has been the result in four of their last five home games. Furthermore, this has been the result in three of Chelsea’s last four on the road.
Diego Costa missed the 1-0 victory over Barcelona and it could be bad news for Chelsea that he is back here, given the Spaniard has scored the final goal in each of his last four appearances at the Vicente Calderon.
It is 4/1 that Costa nets last again here or 11/10 that he is on target at any time in the 90 minutes.
Alternatively, Costa scoring in an Atletico victory is available in the wincast market at 7/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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