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Chelsea v Atletico Madrid Tips: Suarez to haunt old foes at the Bridge

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid Tips: Back Suarez to find the net in west London
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid Tips: Back Suarez to find the net in west London

Chelsea face Atletico Madrid tomorrow evening as they look to book their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals. The Blues sit on a one goal cushion, however, they will not be able to rest on their laurels here as they lockhorns with one of the most tenacious teams ever to exist. 

Thomas Tuchel’s reign has proceeded without a hitch as of yet. Their 0-0 shutout with Leeds on Saturday may have been drab, but it marked their tenth clean sheet of the Bavarians' era. If they repeat the feat they achieved in Yorkshire tomorrow night, they will progress to the next stage. In terms of team news, Chelsea will have to rotate here with Jorginho and Mount both suspended. This should see Kante and Ziyech slot into midfield. 

The visitors, on the other hand, do not have any fresh injuries or suspensions to contend with. Diego Simeone has reverted back to a four man defence recently and could opt for it once more tomorrow. That would see Marcos Llorente and Saul Niguez feature ahead of Koke.

Today's football tips
Asian Total Cards Over 4.5
Odds correct as of 2021-03-16 15:05 Odds subject to change.

Since 2015, Atletico Madrid have played eight second leg games in the UCL knock-out stages. Of those eight fixtures, they have come into the second leg winning on five occasions, four of those games have seen a first half goal and two have seen over 2.5 goals kop in the 90 minutes. 

Since 2015, Madrid have only gone into the second leg of a UCL clash behind on two occasions; vs Barcelona in 2016 and vs Real Madrid in 2017. In their game against Barca, they won 2-0 and progressed to the next stage of the competition. There was a first half goal in that game and eight yellow cards. Their 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in 2017 wasn’t enough to see them progress. During that game, Atleti scored twice in the first half and there were six yellow cards brandished. 

My point is the 1X2 markets look a dangerous entity here so I am going to steer well clear. Bet365’s first half goal line looked worthy of opposing - given Chelsea’s stellar defensive record under Tuchel - however, given the fact that there has been a FHG in 87.5% of Atleti’s second leg knockout games in the UCL, I am also going to avoid it. 

Instead I like the look of over 4.5 cards with Bet365 at 1.850, this is the Asian Line that is slightly longer than the normal line. Since 2015, Atleti’s games second leg knock-out ties in the UCL have yielded 41 cards and the two second legs they came into trailing saw a combined total of 14 yellows!

Champions League betting
Savic and Koke to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-03-16 15:15 Odds subject to change.

In a game that promises cards, it would be daft not to delve into the player card markets and for this pick I have combined two of Simeone’s serial offenders.

Stefan Savic has accumulated 16Y in 34 starts for club and country this season. A player that boasts such a poor disciplinary record is usually much closer to evens for a card, as is the case with Bet365 who have him priced at 6/4. However, BetVictor have audaciously priced him up at 14/5. The Serbian defender has received seven bookings this year and could get exposed in transition as his side chase the game. 

My other selection is the visitors' lynchpin Koke. The Spanish midfielder has picked up nine cards in 30 starts for Atleti this season and given his defensive output it is not surprising to see why - he has averaged 1.9 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and one foul per game in the UCL and La Liga this campaign. 

István Kovács is the man in the middle here. In terms of cards, his averages are not outstanding, however he has been known to get caught up in the big occasion as he gave nine yellows when Slovakia played Scotland in the UNL crunch match. 

Luis Suarez to score & to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-03-16 15:15 Odds subject to change.

Paddy's have boosted Luis Suarez to score and be carded to 9/1 which also takes appeal as the Uruguayan is certainly one for the big occasion. This bet landed in both of the UCL knockout games Suarez played in last season and it also landed in the season before that when he faced Liverpool. This campaign he has scored 18 goals in 29 appearances and being carded in five of those as this bet has landed twice.

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

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