Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton in the Premier League and next up, they shift their focus towards the Champions League where they take on Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 this midweek.This match will be played at the National Arena in Romania but the first leg this Tuesday will be Atletico Madrid’s home game.
Both the sides go into this match very evenly decked up in terms of numbers since Chelsea are undefeated in their last 6 matches in the Champions League while Simeone’s side have not tasted defeat in their previous five European outings.Atletico Madrid are currently sitting at the top of the league table three points ahead of Real Madrid and they still have a game in hand.But they have seen a recent slump in form,picking up just two wins in their previous five league games.Chelsea,on the other hand,have not tasted defeat since Thomas Tuchel took over.Mendy will keep his place in the side from the Southampton game but the three-man back-line infront of him is likely to see a change.Kurt Zouma got his first start under the new boss but the Frenchman will move back to the bench and Christensen will come back into the side.Thiago Silva still remains sidelined with the injury and the centre-back has not travelled with the squad to Romania.
Ben Chilwell remained on the bench vs Southampton and with the way Marcos Alonso is currently playing,the Spaniard could once again get the nod to start as the left wing-back on Tuesday.N’Golo Kante was another player who featured from the start against the Saints but he too will be dropped in midweek and Jorginho will replace him in central midfield.Mateo Kovacic will reprise his role.
Reece James will hopefully make way for Callum Hudson-Odoi as the manager will want to have as many attacking players as possible since Atletico Madrid have one of the most rigid defences in European football.Kai Havertz has come back to training over the weekend and is part of the travelling squad. But we doubt if he will get a chance to start vs Atletico,especially with Mason Mount in such great form.Tammy Abraham will hopefully be chosen ahead of Olivier Giroud meaning the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic will once again have to be content with spots on the bench.
Injury Update Ahead of Tuesday's Match
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel gave Atletico Madrid news ahead of the matchChelsea manager Thomas Tuchel continues to share some of the news of his injury and return ahead of the Atletico Madrid game.The Germany coach removed Thiago Silva from the game as his recovery was in progress.
The Brazilian veteran was out of the game for some time following a hamstring injury in the win over Tottenham.He didn't play at Southampton when he started training because there was a risk of his injury getting worse.However,he still cannot operate as he missed the trip for the Atletico Madrid match and will not be accepted into his squad.There is good news because the duo Kai Haverz and Christian Pulisic are likely to return to the Champions League.
Both missed Chelsea's draw with Southampton but will likely play in the squad for their next fixture. Before the match, Tuhel spoke.We are well equipped in our team. I like what I feel, I like what I see.Thirst for competition,strong relationships,strong associations.I am very happy to arrive in Bucharest feeling that we are ready and have faith in the people on the pitch.
The match will take place in Bucharest,which will host Atletico.This is due to a travel ban from England to Spain due to the corona virus.
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