Antoine Griezmann vs David Luiz and other key battles as Atletico Madrid host Chelsea

Andy West 22:33 26/09/2017
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Antonio Conte will take his Chelsea side to Atletico Madrid as the pair clash for their second Champions League fixture in Group C.

Here we look at three key battles ahead of the game.

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN VS DAVID LUIZ

There’s no doubting the identity of Atletico’s key player: French frontman Antoine Griezmann, who has overcome a slow start to the season to score in his last two games.

With his combination of movement, speed, commitment to hard work and finishing, Griezmann is the complete striker and a nightmare for any opponent.

The Chelsea defender best physically equipped to handle him is David Luiz, whose assured physicality is enough to subdue any striker.

But whether Luiz has the mental capacity to manage Griezmann’s constant threat is another matter – he certainly can’t afford one of his infamous lapses in concentration on Wednesday night.

JAN OBLAK VS THIBAUT COURTOIS

OK, this is not a head-to-head battle as such as they will be at opposite ends of the pitch, but in a game which is likely to be low-scoring the heroics or (extremely unlikely but always possible) mistakes of these two world-class goalkeepers could be decisive.

Courtois, of course, was Oblak’s predecessor between the posts for Atletico, and there’s a healthy but inconclusive debate among the club’s fans over which of them deserves to be remembered as the club’s greatest ever goalkeeper.

Indeed, it’s easy to mount an argument that they are currently the best two keepers in the world – and they’ll look to prove that point in this game.

KOKE VS CESC FABREGAS

In many ways Spanish international teammates Koke and Fabregas are the heartbeat of their team’s attacking play, albeit they perform in subtly different ways.

While Koke is hard-working, physical and does a lot of his best work from wide positions, Fabregas loves to get regular contact with the ball in the centre of the park, dictating the play in a manner that Koke rarely does.

The former Barcelona player possesses the ability to deliver a killer final ball that Koke generally lacks, but the defensive aspect of his game can sometimes be lacking. Against Atletico, that could be fatal.

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