Atletico Madrid and Chelsea go head-to-head in the Uefa Champions League first knockout stage on Tuesday, in a fixture switched thanks to Covid-19 restrictions.
The last 16 first leg clash takes place not at the Metropolitano Stadium but in Romania, at the National Arena in Bucharest with incoming travel from England not currently welcomed by the Spanish authorities.
With home advantage stripped away, it leaves Diego Simeone’s men relying on the form that sees them top La Liga ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona back at home.
It wasn’t straightforward for the two-time runners-up as they negotiated Group A before the turn of the year.
They only won twice and finished with a negative goal difference, but did enough to ease out Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow in finishing second behind reigning champions Bayern Munich.
England defender Kieran Trippier won’t be in the Atletico line up against his old rivals, as the defender continues to serve his suspension.
Jose Gimenez will also be absent from the back line due to injury, although Saul Niguez and Stefan Savic are expected to be available.
Thomas Lemar and Moussa Dembele successfully made their comebacks following bouts of coronavirus in La Liga so should be fit to feature here, with the first leg likely to come too soon for Hector Herrera.
It’s all-change at the helm for Chelsea, who have parted company with club legend Frank Lampard since qualifying for the last 16.
Former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel is the man tasked with securing the title for the first time since 2012 for the English Premier League club.
Group E was a relative doddle for the Blues, who went unbeaten to see off the challenge of Sevilla, FK Krasnodar and Rennes in finishing top of the pile.
Tuchel has a near-clean bill of health to play with, too, with Thiago Silva expected to be the only injury absentee for the flight to Eastern Europe.
Kai Havertz has been in training and could return to the squad but don’t expect to see too much of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was brought on from the bench and then hauled off again in the Premier League at the weekend.
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea: By the numbers
- Last meeting between these two teams : Atlético Madrid 0 – 0 Chelsea.
- These 2 teams have met 7 times in the last several seasons based on the data that we have of them.
- Out of 7 previous meetings, Atlético Madrid have won 2 matches while Chelsea won 2. 3 matches between them have ended in a draw.
- Atlético Madrid is in good home form while Chelsea are performing very good at away.
- Previous matches between Atlético Madrid and Chelsea have averaged 3.14 goals while BTTS has happened 71% of the time.
- So far this season in the UEFA Champions League, Atlético Madrid have averaged 1.75 Points Per Game at home matches and Chelsea 2.17 Points Per Game at away matches.
Stats source: footystats.org
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea: Prediction
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.
Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea: UCL starting XI prediction
Probable Atletico Madrid Starting XI: Jan Oblak, Mario Hermoso, Felipe, Stefan Savic, Marcos Llorente, Koke, Saul Niguez, Yannick Carrasco, Angel Correa, Joao Felix, Luis Suarez.
Probable Chelsea Starting XI: Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Alonso, Timo Werner, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham.