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Mourinho back in town as Atletico Madrid take on Chelsea in Champions League semis

English.news.cn   2014-04-21 19:17:51

MADRID, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Atletico Madrid entertain Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal in what promises to be an incredible atmosphere in the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Tuesday night.

Atletico are currently enjoying their best season since the double winning campaign of 1996, but even then they never got this far in the Champions League. Now just Chelsea stand between Diego Simeone's hyper-motivated team and a place in the final in Lisbon.

The Spanish side go into the game with a clear lead at the top of Spain's BBVA Primera Liga and with hopes of a double nobody would have predicted before the start of the campaign.

Simeone has nearly all of his key players available with only winger Arda Turam out through injury.

That means Diego Costa and David Villa will lead the attack in front of a midfield of Raul Garcia, Koke, Gabi and Mario Suarez. Meanwhile the defense of Juanfran Torres, Diego Godin, Joao Miranda and Felipe Luis has shown itself to be the most miserly in Spain.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is the man who will capture most of the attention given that he is on loan at Atletico from Chelsea. It had been speculated that Chelsea didn't want the young Belgian to play against them, but he will play and if he reproduces the form he has shown all season that will be a headache for Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho.

The former Real Madrid coach returns to face the side which defeated him in his last game in Spain just under a year ago.

That game was the final of the King's Cup when Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu and Mourinho can expect a hostile reception on his return to the Spanish capital.

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will be welcomed much more warmly from the fans at the club where he began his career and which he has always loved, but whether or not Torres leads the Chelsea attack is open to debate given his lack of goals this season.

Indeed a lack of goals from Chelsea's strikers will probably cost them the Barclays Premier League title this season and was a factor as they suffered a shock defeat at home to bottom of the table Sunderland on Saturday.

Samuel Eto'o will probably lead the Chelsea line in what promises to be a war of attrition between two physical and well-organized teams in which the battle between Atletico striker Diego Costa and Chelsea defender John Terry promises to be epic as does the midfield clash between Ramires and Gabi.

So 90 minutes with no holds barred looks to be on the cards and the chances are everything will be decided in London next week.

Editor: Shen Qing
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