Madrid can win
The Atletico Madrid descend on Stamford Bridge brimming with confidence and full of hope: they currently lead La Liga with a four-point edge over Barcelona with three games left on the season and they are a match win away from their first European top club competition final in 40 years. Indeed, it promises to be a season to remember if they can pull off one, let alone the double. (Ironically, the 1973-74 final saw Atleti come up against Bayern Munich only to lose 4-0. Will it be a repeat final? If you think so, you can back the same finalists at +333 futures odds at Bet365.)
Atletico Madrid are very much in it despite succumbing to a scoreless draw at the Calderón last week. Sportsbooks have matched an away win at attractive +250 soccer odds but – here’s the catch – to qualify for the final, both Chelsea and Atleti are listed dead even at -110. Clearly, it’s anybody’s tie right now and that augurs well for the visitors more so than it does for the hosts.
Diego Simeone has done the impossible in Spain by ripping apart the Barcelona-Real Madrid duopoly over La Liga. Therefore, ripping the script on Champions League to shreds is not just idle speculation but a real possibility, underscored by Atleti’s undefeated run in Champions League this season.
Atleti will have all to do, however, to beat Chelsea if the Blue’s recent results were any indication. Certainly, Mourinho’s ability to impose desired results can’t be underestimated. Fortunately, Atleti have one slight advantage over Mourinho and his Blues: they need either a draw or a win to advance – an outcome that is aptly sourced in the double-chance market and matched on -163 soccer odds.
Chelsea enter their highly anticipated clash with Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge as the notional favourites, matched at +125 soccer odds to win outright. The premium on the win however couldn’t be greater as the Blues attempt to reach their third European final in a decade, second in as many seasons after winning last year’s Europa League final.
That odds makers don’t corner this match in Chelsea’s camp is telling, but it is in no way defining. Each and every time José Mourinho and his boys are written off, don’t they come back? In a big way no less. Case-and-point: the 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield Stadium just this weekend.
Last week, Liverpool were all but cruising towards the Premier League title only to stutter against a resilient Chelsea at Anfield Stadium. Not only did Chelsea’s victory snap Liverpool’s 11-game winning streak but it also turned the title race on its head. Now Man City are back in control at -125 futures odds while Liverpool are listed as the second favourites at +125. One would think however with that statement win, Chelsea would be in the thick of it all, more than their +1400 soccer odds would suggest they are.
The league aside, the victory was a HUGE confidence boost ahead of this HUGE game with Atletico Madrid. Underestimate Chelsea at your peril. That is what their recent results say unequivocally. Just when you think they are down and out, they rise to the occasion. And it could very well be the catalyst for another sensational result for Chelsea and a Mourinho-esque dance on the sidelines for the club’s beloved fans.
That said, if there is one thing that could prove deciding it’s the growing injury list, which includes Petr Cech, John Terry, Eden Hazard, Samuel Etoó...and more. Granted it was a watered down Chelsea that beat Liverpool at the weekend. But Champions League is an entirely different ball game.
This tie is delicately poised on a scoreless draw that will tip either way at Stamford Bridge. The question is which way: will it be Atleti stomping the Bridge or will the Blues stamp their invitation to another European final?
Clearly, there is plenty of value on both sides of the coin. Although it’s worth noting overwhelming public betting support coming down the wire is in favour of the Blues, matched attractively at +125 for the home win. Does the public have it right or can Atleti stun the world by coming through on their attractive +250 soccer odds.
If you are lucky enough to have loyalties towards either club selecting your soccer picks should be straightforward. For neutrals, however, handicapping this game is going to be a bit of a coin toss. Literally.
Free Soccer Picks: Atleti to win outright at +250 or Atleti on the double chance at -163