Chelsea were drawn in Group C of the Champions League as former Blues striker Andriy Shevchenko and ex-Roma ace Francesco Totti made the draw in Monaco. Shevchenko was there as a representative of Kiev, the city where Chelsea will be hoping to play in the final of the tournament in 2018. First though, Chelsea must overcome the following teams:
Atletico de Madrid
One of the toughest sides that Chelsea could have drawn from Pot Two. Chelsea have only beaten the Spanish side once, back in 2009, from five encounters. Diego Simeone’s side are under a transfer ban this summer but are still being linked with unwanted Chelsea striker Diego Costa, by the likes of The Sun, which could add another dimension to the duel.
Defensively strong, it could be a real challenge for the Blues to overcome the Spanish defence and break them down, particularly at the Wanda Metropolitano. That is the club’s brand new stadium, with Chelsea likely to be one of the first European visitors to the stadium.
The Italian outfit were one of the stronger sides in Pot Three and Chelsea can once again feel frustrated. No longer boasting experienced talisman Francesco Totti up-front, the side still have a number of recognisable names including former Manchester City man Aleksandr Kolarov.
The tie will also see Antonio Rudiger return to his former club early on in his Chelsea career as the Blues will have to break down a side who have, like Atletico Madrid, developed a reputation as a strong and organised defensive line-up.
The real minnows of this year’s competition, the Azerbaijan side won three qualification play-offs in order to reach the group stage as they saw off the likes of FC Copenhagen. Gurban Gurbanov’s side will be here for the ride but will be looking to take points off their opposition if possible.
They have competed in the Europa League for the past three seasons in a row but have failed to get past the group stage. They have never reached such an advanced stage of the Champions League before but will look to bring their passion to Stamford Bridge and prove a threat.