La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid and Chelsea will lock horns at Bucharest this Tuesday in what promises to be an intriguing first leg battle in their quarter-final tie in the UEFA Champions League.
Stadium: Arena Națională
- Atlético Madrid are unbeaten in 13 UEFA Champions League (UCL) home games (W9, D4).
- Diego Simeone’s men also have not lost a Champions League match in their last five.
- Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday, conceding their first goal to an opposition player since Thomas Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard at the Stamford Bridge helm.
- The Blues are unbeaten since Tuchel’s appointment.
- The last time both teams met, Chelsea secured a 2-1 win at the Wanda Metropolitano back in 2017.
The La Liga leaders have been one of the most outstanding teams all season, but they have found it difficult to win in recent games. Diego Someone’s side followed up a nil-nil draw with a two-nil loss in their last outing. The loss was their first home loss since December 2019 and reduced their lead at the top of La Liga to five points.
Despite those poor results, Atletico remains one of the hardest sides to break down. They head into this tie with a point to prove and will be going to make it two knockout wins against English opposition in two seasons.
Possible Atletico Madrid Line-ups
Jan Oblak, Mario Hermoso, Felipe, Stefan Savic, Marcos Llorente, Koke, Saul Niguez, Angel Correa, Joao Felix, Luis Suarez
Unavailable players: Trippier (suspended), Herrera (illness), Giménez (adductor), Carrasco (knock), Vrsaljko (knock)
Chelsea have changed a lot under Thomas Tuchel, who pushes teams to play well. They are a powerful team with great players, and they have made a good financial investment. Seeing the level of the three goalkeepers they have, it shows the potential of the team. Their attackers could play in any team in Europe.Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid Manager
Chelsea qualified for the knockout stage in impressive fashion, winning their group ahead of Sevilla without losing a single game.
The Blues head into this tie as one of the most in-form teams in Europe.
Since their new manager arrived, the London club have not lost a game and have also shown improvement in their defending as evidenced by their clean sheet record since then. In seven of the games they have played under Tuchel, the visitors have kept five clean sheets and conceded just two times.
They will head into this tie as the more confident of both teams. But with the absence of veteran defender Thiago Silva, they will be worried over Atlético Madrid’s potent attack of Luis Suarez and João Felix and must be on their toes to stop the threat of the duo.
Possible Chelsea line-ups
Edouard Mendy, Ceaser Azpilicueta, Andres Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Tammy Abraham
Unavailable players: Thiago Silva (thigh)
It’s a big test. They are an experienced club at this level, an experienced coach. Hopefully it brings out the best in us. We will do things our way, they will do things their way. It’s clear what you get when you play Atlético: fighting, experience, a team with a good mentality.Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea Manager
Atletico are a very solid team and top of the league in Spain. We know we are facing a very strong team with experience in the competition. They’ve worked with their manager for a few years. We are playing away from home but we want to play our own game.
We are only focused on winning. I think when there are bad results people might think a team is less of a favourite, but I think the two sides are in different situations to when the draw was made.César Azpilicueta, Chelsea captain
Atletico Madrid : Draw : Chelsea :: 2.70 : 3.00 : 2.87
Atletico Madrid 2—1 Chelsea