Blogs & Opinion


Guillem Balague:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Cem Takaci on Making his mark

"Hi Guillem, all of this hype sourounding jose mourinho and the saying that the wave is swinging for real madrid right now. But once Jose leaves and it does seem that he will if not this... " View all comments

Siyavuya Zamxaka on Awesome foursome

"wonderfull column as always...I think Madrid have a better chance of winning the Cup game in all of these 4 games. This is because Mourinho can play any system and not worry about how ... " View all comments

Champions League: Atletico Madrid don't expect Chelsea to be as defensive at home

Guillem Balague - Guillem Balague Posted 28th April 2014 view comments

Chelsea played against Atletico Madrid in the way that they have been playing recently in Europe.

There is not much to say about the style - which they also adopted against Liverpool - but the game-plan allows their rivals to have the ball, and then showcases their rivals' weaknesses and hides their own.

Can Diego Costa and David Villa send Chelsea tumbling out of the Champions League?

Can Diego Costa and David Villa send Chelsea tumbling out of the Champions League?

It is an easy way to play - as Brendan Rodgers said, defending with 10 men in the 18-yard box is easier than defending all over the pitch - but it is down to Chelsea's rivals to find solutions.

That style exposes that Atletico Madrid, and perhaps Liverpool, have to play more as a team offensively to be able to break the defence down.

It is fine to have Diego Costa scoring on counter attacks or Raul Garcia heading in set-pieces or in Liverpool's case having the Triple S - Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling - taking advantage of space.

But when there isn't space you need to find a collective effort and work hard to find associations in order to open up defences and that is the hardest thing in football.

Chelsea are taking advantage of that but Liverpool and Atletico Madrid should work even harder at opening up defences.

Wednesday's game should be a fascinating encounter but Atletico don't expect Chelsea to play the same way at home so we will see if that will be the case.

Attack

As for Real Madrid, what is interesting is that they are going to probably play 4-4-2 with Cristiano Ronaldo free and Gareth Bale on the left-hand side.

That has proven to be the better usage of the 11 in the last few months - it was how they played in the first leg against Bayern and in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona.

However, I still feel Bayern can attack better but they need to find new ways.

You saw Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze and Javi Martinez come on at the Bernabeu and I would expect them to start in the second leg.

Bayern are probably stronger than Real but they have to show it.

Watch highlights of Bayern Munich versus Real Madrid from midnight on Tuesday (Wednesday morning) on Sky Sports 1, and then catch LIVE coverage of Chelsea against Atletico Madrid from 7pm on Wednesday on Sky Sports 1.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Chelsea in good shape for PSG

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to have a strong squad to select from for their Champions League game with Paris Saint-Germain.

'Let's throw some punches'

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says he is planning to install a more attacking approach at the club.

LVG: We must sign a midfielder

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Manchester United will attempt to sign a creative midfield player this summer.

Live transfer updates

Live transfer news as Louis van Gaal makes the signing a creative midfielder his top priority this summer.

Bony trains with new team-mates

Wilfried Bony has trained with Man City for the first time after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.

Features

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

Tim Sherwood's to-do list: Five things the new Aston Villa manager must make a priority if he is to succeed

As Tim Sherwood settles into his first day at work as Aston Villa manager, the challenge of keeping the Premier League perennials in the top flight begins.

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Pogba? Verratti? Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants a creative midfielder but who should he sign?

Only a fortnight after the transfer window closed, Louis van Gaal has set tongues wagging again by admitting that Manchester United need to sign a creative midfielder.

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Xabi Alonso impressing at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and eyeing a third Champions League medal

Adam Bate looks at Xabi Alonso's fine form with Bayern Munich and why he can make history this season.