Chelsea take on La Liga powerhouses Atletico Madrid in the most hotly-anticipated of the Group C match-ups in the Champions League. The Blues are top the group after a single round of fixtures, having dismantled FC Qarabag 6-0 while Atletico drew with AS Roma.
Here is the potential line up for Wednesday’s fascinating clash.
The threat of last season’s Champions League semi-finalists to Thibaut Courtois’s goal is obvious; Antoine Griezmann and familiar face Fernando Torres are among those who will visit the Bridge intent on silencing the home fans. Courtois, though, has let in just one goal in his last five matches.
With David Luiz nursing a wrist injury sustained in the bore draw with Arsenal in the Premier League, he may not be risked. Antonio Conte appeared to have one eye on this fixture during the trip to Stoke on Saturday (after which they still came away with a 4-0 win), bringing on Gary Cahill only as a second-half substitute.
The ever-reliable Cesar ‘Dave’ Azpilicueta and promising new boy Antonio Rudiger will likely be trusted alongside him.
There would be little point in changing Chelsea’s effective 3-4-3 formation for Champions League competition, and neither ought there to be any variation from the personnel in the midfield.
Tiemoue Bakayoko has cottoned on to the required physicality for the Blues’ brand of football quickly, though you feel that a rivalry might be developed between him and Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic – one with the Premier League title on the line?
Eden Hazard is another who was used only sparingly against Stoke, and only with a comfortable 2-0 lead already in hand. Atletico’s defence offers a much sterner test for Chelsea’s attacking trio, and these are the games that the goals of Alvaro Morata are that much more important in.
The ex-Real Madrid man will know that a hat trick against Stoke will prove little to the eyes of the watching footballing world – especially those of a certain Diego Costa, who will surely be watching from the stands if he does hit the net on Wednesday.