Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill has claimed that the club are seeing their tie with Atletico Madrid as a vital one for the club and their progression this season.
Cahill admitted that Atleti were a strong side and if they can manage to beat Diego Simeone’s side, it will send a message across Europe to all their competitors about how strong they are this season.
He was speaking with Standard Sport, and said: “This is going to be one of our hardest games in the Champions League. It doesn’t get much tougher, so if we can get a result there it will say a lot.
“This is a proper tie. We are not just coming up against technicians and people who are really good on the ball, but they are real men, physical.
“They have the attributes you are looking for in a team. They tick most of the boxes.
“We know a lot about Atletico. We have seen them in European competitions in recent years. They have done very, very well and there is a reason for that.
“It’s going to be a real challenge but we got a draw over there in the first leg of the semi-final in 2014, which we thought had set us up great for the second leg, only to lose. It is important we come back with something.”
This is a huge few days for Chelsea, and unquestionably their biggest of the season so far, with the test against Atleti coming right before a match against Manchester City that will be viewed as a six pointer.
Man City are arguably the form side of the moment, and have certainly been scoring goals for fun in the Premier League.
While Chelsea have come back from a terrible start, there’s no denying they need to do more to impress certain sections of the media – not that Conte will pay much notice to that – but a win over the title favourites would go a long way to people sitting up and taking notice of Chelsea.