Watch Champions League Semifinal First Leg: Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea Live Streaming Information
By Deepak Vikraman | April 23, 2014 3:47 AM EST
Best defences in their respective leagues, penchant for counter-attacking football, and two manager's who, tactically, are as astute as they come - Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea does not promise to be a free goalscoring humdinger, but the tactical nuances and the mini-battles within the overall battle do guarantee as much excitement as a free-flowing 5-4 game would.
Where to Watch Live:
The game is scheduled for an 8.45 pm local time (7.45 pm BST, 12.15 am IST, 2.45 pm ET) start with live coverage on Ten Sports in India, Fox Sports in the US and ITV in the UK .
Watch the match via live streaming online in India HERE, while Latin America viewers can go HERE. Viewers in Australia can live stream the game HERE, with the UK option HERE or HERE. US viewers can catch the action courtesy live streaming HERE, with the option in Canada to watch the game live online HERE. Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match live online HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can go HERE.
Atletico were impressive and then some against Barcelona in the quarterfinals - picking up a draw in the first leg at the Camp Nou, and then keeping a clean sheet at home, like they almost always do, and finding the solitary goal needed to advance to their first semifinal in the Champions League era.
In manager Diego Simeone, Atletico have one of the brightest young minds in the game, and the Spanish side will go into the first leg with nothing to lose, and knowing full well their capabilities for a big result at their fortress Vicente Calderon.
"We are not the same teams but we have similar characteristics," Simeon said. "We have the best defensive records in our respective leagues, we both have good defences and play a direct attacking game. We're both also good at set-pieces. These characteristics have led to us each fighting for titles.
"We know our strengths and weaknesses: We will try to take advantage of our strengths and disguise our weaknesses. This is a semifinal and as such it will be a very tight match. It is a game that will be decided by very small details.
"Teamwork will be all-important in helping to bring out the individual qualities that can decide games. Whoever can do that best will be closer to winning the first leg. I am still thinking about tactics, I want to see how we are in training."
Atletico's tactics have been about letting their opponents have the ball, before pouncing on them with quick and lethal counter-attacks, with their striker Diego Costa, who has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, the lynchpin of their attacking plans.
Chelsea also rely on quick counter-attacks, but with their numerous playmakers, are also equally capable of keeping possession and hurting teams with pin-point through balls. Jose Mourinho is one of the best in the business in indentifying his opponent's weaknesses and the Portuguese will know his Chelsea side will have to make use of every ounce of their ability to find a way past Atletico over two legs.
"I am not here to talk to you about Atletico's qualities," Mourinho said. "I have already done that with my players. No team arrives in a UEFA Champions League semifinal without being a very good team and they are no exceptions. To be here they have to be a very good team. We respect them, have studied and analysed them.
"I have watched them playing many times. When we got them in the draw, I watched them with keener eyes. I have studied them a lot and have tried to give an idea of what Atletico are about to my players. Any team that is fighting for the championship and in the UEFA Champions League must be an important team."
Playing the second leg at home will be a distinct advantage for Chelsea, and if the Blues can come away from the Calderon with an away goal, they will be confident of booking their place in the final.
Team news: Atletico Madrid: Simeone does not have too many issues with injuries, with key playmaker Arda Turan coming through a training session unscathed after missing the 2-0 win over Elche in the La Liga on Friday, a result which kept them top of the table.
On-loan Chelsea player Thibaut Courtois will start the game on Tuesday night, and Simeone insisted his goalkeeper was in the right frame of mind to face his parent club. "Thibaut Courtois' state of mind is the same as that of all his teammates," the manager said. "They are all filled with enthusiasm. They know the importance of this match -- not just for them, but for the club."
Chelsea: Eden Hazard is a major doubt after missing training, and Mourinho will make a last-minute call on the influential forward. Petr Cech is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing the 2-1 loss to Sunderland, Mourinho's first Premier League home defeat in 78 matches, through illness, but Branislav Ivanovic misses out through suspension. Fernando Torres will hope for a start against his former club, while Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible.
Expected lineups: Atletico Madrid: Courtois; Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Luis; Suarez, Gabi, Koke, Turan; Villa, Costa.
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Luiz, Ramires; Willian, Oscar, Schurrle; Torres.
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