Conte Mad for it

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! -

THE cir­cus will be in town in Madrid this week and Chelsea will be hop­ing they do not end up as clowns.

They fly to the Span­ish cap­i­tal to take on Spain’s peren­nial over­achiev­ers Atletico Madrid on Wed­nes­day in their brand new sta­dium.

They are just two games into play­ing at the 67,703 ca­pac­ity Wanda Metropoli­tano af­ter 51 years at the Vi­cente Calderon, where they never lost to an English side.

All eyes will be on striker Diego Costa af­ter his pro­tracted move from Chelsea to his for­mer club Atletico.

Chelsea boss An­to­nio Conte wants to con­sign that part of his spell at the club to the dust­bin, anx­ious to move on.

He knows Costa’s ap­pear­ance will be a free-for-all and the game al­most sec­ondary. Home fans will give him and Chelsea stick for their han­dling of a player who is a leg­end at the club.

Conte wants to build on the 6-0 thrash­ing of Qarabag to ex­tend their lead at the top of Group C af­ter Atletico drew in Italy with Roma.

But Atletico, un­beaten in La Liga this sea­son, warmed up for Wed­nes­day’s tie with a 2-0 home win against Sevilla yes­ter­day.

A Chelsea spokesman said: “They’ve hardly played at their new sta­dium. They are still bed­ding down. We feel the time is right to change his­tory.

“We see no rea­son why Diego might not be there. Why should he stay away? He is their player now.”

TONY STENSON

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