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Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Tips: Back Alonso to get amongst the chances

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Tips: Alonso features
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea Tips: Alonso features

Tuesday night live on BT Sport at 20:00, we head to Bucharest, Romania (due to Covid-19 travel restrictions), where Atletico Madrid host Chelsea for their home leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.  

Diego Simeone’s side remain top of La Liga, sitting three points clear with a game in hand over their city rivals, despite only registering one league win from their last four. A shock 2-0 defeat at home to Levante last weekend gave the league leaders only their second loss of the campaign. Both Moussa Dembele and Thomas Lemar returned at the weekend, with Hector Herrera likely to miss out due to a positive Coronavirus test earlier this month. Atletico may also resort to a back three on Tuesday with the English full back, Kieran Trippier, missing out due to suspension. 

Thomas Tuchel has turned the tide at Chelsea, yet to face defeat since taking over back in January. They have managed to climb to 5th in the Premier League, picking up fourteen points from a possible eighteen in his short tenure. Chelsea have confirmed that the Brazilian, Thiago Silva, will not be in their match day squad on Tuesday evening due to injury. Both Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz have travelled with squad and will be available.  

Today's football tips
Stefan Savic to be booked
Odds correct as of 2021-02-22 20:40 Odds subject to change.

The Montenegrin defender, Stefan Savic, is a trusted starter for Simeone, playing twenty of twenty-three matches this season in La Liga. He has been pivotal at the back for the Madrid side, helping them register the lowest xGA (expected goals against) in La Liga (18.83).  

When it comes to going into the book, nobody has done it more times in La Liga this season than the 30 year-old. In 20 appearances, he has registered an incredible 10 yellow cards (50%). These stats alone imply odds of around 2.00, but with William Hill and Sky Bet we can get a huge 16/5 (24%). The German referee, Felix Brych, takes the whistle for this match. With a lifetime average of 4.57 cards per game, increasing to over five cards per game in the Champions League, 16/5 on Savic to go into the book looks amazing value. 

Champions League betting
Marcos Alonso 2+ shots
Odds correct as of 2021-02-22 20:40 Odds subject to change.

Since Tuchel has arrived at the London club, the Spaniard Marco Alonso, has been one of their best attacking options. With Tuchel opting for a back three instead of a back four, this gives Alonso the attacking freedom on that left hand side to get into the box, with less defensive responsibility.  

In all of Alonso’s starts under Tuchel in the Premier League (five), he has registered two or more shots in all off them – with a total of 13 shots (2.6 shots per game). This makes the 13/10 about Alonso repeating this feat for a sixth consecutive start incredible value. 

The Draw
Odds correct as of 2021-02-22 20:00 Odds subject to change.

Being the first leg of a knockout Champions League tie, it will most certainly be a cagey affair. Atletico are notoriously hard to break down and that is reflected in their low xGA this season. Chelsea have been extremely ball obsessed under Tuchel, averaging a huge 71% in his seven matches, and I expect a similar ball dominance in this tie.  

Prior to Atletico’s shock defeat at the weekend, they were unbeaten in seven matches. Chelsea have also been solid and remain unbeaten under the Germans reign, keeping five clean sheets in his seven matches. All of this leads to a tight game and I believe a draw on the 1X2 market is the outcome that is most likely.

Savic to be booked, Alonso 2+ shots and match to be drawn
Odds correct as of 2021-02-22 20:45 Odds subject to change.
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