2012 winners Chelsea reached the Champions League semi-final stage following a dramatic 2-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge which helped them progress on away goals.
They were met in the last four by familiar faces in Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich.
When the draw was made last Friday, Chelsea were paired with Barcelona’s quarter-final conquerors Atletico Madrid – arguably the best available option.
The other remaining clubs, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, both boast big squads with an array of attacking talent which can change the game in an instant.
Atletico Madrid, despite leading La Liga following a tremendous campaign, possess a slight vulnerability about them when being attacked directly – demonstrated by Real Madrid’s recent 5-0 aggregate demolition over Diego Simeone’s men in the Copa Del Rey semi-final.
Diego Simeone knows of his squad’s weakness, and he certainly won’t like seeing players such as Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard, Willian and Samuel Eto’o being ordered by Blues boss Jose Mourinho to run beyond Atletico’s back four.
Despite Chelsea’s strengths, Spanish fans haven’t been keen on Jose Mourinho’s side in recent weeks. In a poll created by Spanish newspaper Marca, they once again voted the west Londoners as big underdogs to reach the final in Lisbon.
From more than 40,000 participants, only 27.6% believe that Chelsea will overcome the Rojiblancos and reach a second Champions League final in three years.
In the other semi-final, 66.1% felt that Bayern Munich have the edge over Real Madrid.