Due to Covid-19 travel constraints, the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie between the two clubs is being played in Bucharest rather than Madrid.
In recent years, the Champions League Round of 16 has not been generous to Chelsea-since 2014, the Blues have not made it past this stage of the contest.
This season, Thomas Tuchel and his players will look to change that, beginning tonight as they play the first leg of their Atletico Madrid game.
The Spanish giants are having a strong season; they have three points to lead La Liga and a game in hand over Real Madrid, the second-placed team.
But Atleti has big injuries, ruled out by Jose Giminez, Hector Herrera, and Yannick Carrasco, although their previously impenetrable defense is no more, as described herein in more detail.
It’s a big advantage for Chelsea that the match is not being played at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium due to Spain’s Covid-19 travel restrictions on visitors from the United Kingdom.
As the Atletico head coach in the Champions League, Diego Simeone has never lost a home match. In their previous 12 home knockout stage matches in the competition, the La Liga side has also conceded just once.
Without the powerful Thiago Silva, Chelsea will be without a completely fit team. Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are in the process of recovering from injuries.