Champions League

Lampard: Atletico are Chelsea's toughest opponent possible in the Champions League

The Blues manager reckons his side will have their work cut out for them when they take on the Spanish giants in February

5:45pm on Monday 14th December 2020
Martin Macdonald

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Atletico Madrid are the toughest side possible his team could have been drawn against in the Champions League.

The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League took place on Monday, with Chelsea drawing Atletico over two legs.

Out of the teams involved in the draw, they could have potentially got any team from:

Atletico, Gladbach, Porto, Atalanta, Lazio, Barcelona, and RB Leipzig.

Though on paper Barcelona are the biggest team within that list, they are currently enjoying a poor season under Ronald Koeman, with Atletico outperforming them significantly within La Liga in 2020/21.

Lampard reckons Atletico represent the hardest possible draw.

"I think most people will say it is the toughest draw we could have had when you go on current form, how they are doing in La Liga, European experience and the quality of the team and players," the Chelsea manager said of Diego Simeone's side.

"On the other hand all draws are difficult in the Champions League.

"We have to have believe in ourselves and when that game comes around, you have to try to beat these sort of teams if you are going to win the Champions League, so it is what it is."

Last season, Atletico stunned Liverpool by knocking out the defending champions over two legs, and Lampard has pointed to this as an example of why they shouldn't be taken lightly.

"I watched them knock Liverpool out last year and they are obviously a great team, he added.

They have that experience and they have quality in their squad, so I think most people would say they are certainly one of the toughest teams we could have drawn on paper but we’ll have to turn up and do our job and be confident we can beat them."

Champions League Round of 16 draw

CL draw

Team 1Team 2
Borussia MonchengladbachMan City
LazioBayern Munich
Atletico MadridChelsea
RB LeipzigLiverpool
SevillaBorussia Dortmund
AtalantaReal Madrid

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