1pt Marcos Llorente to be shown a card at 7/1 (Unibet)
1pt Jorginho to be shown a card at 3/1 (Unibet)
It may have taken seven games but Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea finally conceded their first goal to an opposition player when Takumi Minamino put Southampton ahead on Saturday. Mason Mount's second-half penalty ensured they picked up a point, meaning they remain unbeaten under their new head coach.
Atletico were beaten by Levante but they still hold an advantage at the top of the LaLiga table. They are three points ahead of Madrid rivals Real with a game in-hand too. Having knocked out Liverpool last season, Diego Simeone will be hoping to eliminate another English club and his side are the outsiders with the bookmakers to win the two-legged tie.
Despite Atletico having a clinical edge about them this season, Chelsea's improved defensive record alongside Simeone's trademark solidity at the back means this game could be one where goals are scarce. Under 2.5 goals is 4/7, although there is a case to taking the 7/4 on this contest bringing a maximum of one.
Only Real Sociedad (22.8) have a lower Expected Goals Against (xGA) figure according to Infogol than Atletico (23.5). This game is being played in Bucharest too, and Simeone's side have allowed the fewest xGA on the road (10.8 from 11 fixtures).
Chelsea racked up less than 1.00 non-penalty Expected Goals For (xGF) in the draw at Southampton, meaning it all points to a fairly dull game in terms of goals in this one.
With that option off the menu, cards could provide the route to profit with German official Felix Brych in charge. He averages 3.24 cards per game this season, although there have been 24 yellows and two reds in his five Champions League outings.
There is a card option available on both sides and it's a surprise to see MARCOS LLORENTE as big as 7/1 with Unibet to be booked here. He's anything from 7/2 to 7/1 with most bookmakers for a card but it should be much shorter based on recent showings.
Llorente's last four games have seen a combined nine fouls yet he only has two cards on his tally. His average in all competitions is 1.2 fouls per game and only Koke has a higher average in this Atletico squad. He is being priced up based on his cards record and not the high amount of fouls seen in recent games.
It's also worth noting that Celta Vigo and Getafe are the only two teams to see more yellow cards in LaLiga than Atletico this season. With a strict referee in charge, players like Llorente will catch the eye and the prices available are too generous in what should be a tight contest.
On the Chelsea side of things, JORGINHO dropped to the bench for the draw at Southampton but he should return to the starting line-up here. If he is in that XI, the 3/1 available for a card will look like great value given his record.
Like Llorente, it's a surprise to see how few cards he has been shown this season. He is averaging 1.3 fouls per game in the Premier League this season and has seen at least one in each of the Tuchel era contests - that includes one despite just 14 minutes on the pitch at the weekend.
The Southampton game was also the first in which he didn't register a tackle so it's clear to see how involved he is in the midfield battle. With Brych in charge, he is another player who could be in trouble if he is involved from the start.
This game should be a low-scoring one, everything points towards it, but the only reluctance in terms of backing anything to do with the outright result is that we've not seen Tuchel's Chelsea in this competition. Instead, with the prices on offer and the referee appointment, there is better value in the cards market and backing LLORENTE and JORGINHO catching the official's attention.
Score prediction: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea (Sky Bet odds: 13/2)
Odds correct at 1345 GMT (22/02/21)
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