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Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid, Champions League: Team news, TV & streaming information, preview

Ninety minutes away from our third Champions League final in seven seasons.

Clive Rose

With Real Madrid's absolute tonking of Bayern Munich at the Allianz earlier today, one thing is clear:  2013/14 is not the year of the tiki-taka.

If Barcelona's nuking (at the hands of Jupp Heynckes's Bayern, ironically enough) last season wasn't testament enough already, the football universe abhors rigid dogmas.  Teams like Real Madrid or, to a lesser extent, Chelsea, who can defend, counter, and sometimes even attack via patient build-up are the teams to truly fear.  When you add in the pace of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale, it can get quite scary indeed.

And that's exactly what awaits the winner of this one, which will most likely be a rerun of the first leg's script that gave us a tense 0-0 draw.  Get ready for another battle of attrition, as Diego Costa & Co will not go down without bullying and huffing and puffing and scratching and clawing at anything and everything that they can to gain an advantage.  There may not be more than one goal in this; whoever gets it, to him go the spoils.

Chelsea have struggled mightily at times this season against inferior opposition.  Luckily for us, Atlético may just be the best team we've faced all season.

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT; 12:15am IST (next day)

Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA) - His one and only previous Chelsea match was our 1-1 draw in Valencia in the 2011/12 Champions League group stage.  Most of us will remember that for Salomon Kalou's handball.  Rizzoli officiated last year's Champions League final.  In 2010, he also officiated Atlético's 2-1 win over Fulham in the Europa League final.

Forecast: A warm, sunny day should give way to a perfect European night of football under the lights.

On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); Fox Sports 1 (USA); TEN Sports, Action, HD (India), elsewhere

Online: Sky Go (UK); Fox Sports GOFoxSoccer2Go (USA); TEN Sports LIVE (India)

Chelsea team news: While everybody participated in training - even Petr Cech to a certain extent - the injury and suspension issues haven't disappeared entirely.  Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are ineligible while Frank Lampard and Mikel are both suspended.

On the plus side of the ledger, Branislav Ivanovic returns from suspension and John Terry has not only been declared fit but he's also set to start, which should restore our standard back four.  Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o both look fit enough for at least the bench though I think many expect them to start.  Eto'o has scored eight goals in his last eleven starts at Stamford Bridge.

Should we progress, two players are in danger of missing out on the final:  David Luiz and Willian are both just one yellow card away from a one-game suspension.

Atlético Madrid team news: In stark contrast with Chelsea, Atlético have the vast majority of their squad available.  The only big miss is captain Gabi, who picked up his third yellow card in the first leg for dissent and/or for putting his hands on Cesar Azpilicueta's neck.

Should Atletico progress, two of their players are also in danger of missing out on the final with one more yellow card:  Koke and Emiliano Insúa.

Diego Simeone's men are now on a 14-match unbeaten streak.  They have yet to lose in this season's Champions League and are closing in on their tenth La Liga title but first since 1996.  Should they progress, they'd have the chance to do a domestic and European double over local rivals Real Madrid.

Previously: This will be the fifth meeting all time between the two sides.  Atlético will be hoping their second ever trip to Stamford Bridge turns out better than their first.  That Salomon Kalou brace-inspired 4-0 result remains Chelsea's only win over Los Rojiblancos.

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