Atletico Madrid and Chelsea meet in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday night.
Although the La Liga outfit are technically the home side, the fixture will take place in Romanian capital Bucharest due to coronavirus restrictions.
Diego Simeone’s side come into this one off the back of a shock home defeat to Levante on Saturday. Despite the defeat, Atletico remain top of the Spanish top flight, three points clear of their city rivals Real Madrid despite having played a game less.
As for Chelsea, they also failed to win at the weekend. Thomas Tuchel’s Blues were held to a draw at Southampton but it was the German coach who made the headlines after he hooked Callum Hudson-Odoi, who he brought off as a substitute just 30 minutes after his introduction.
Atletico Madrid will be without Jose Gimenez, who has a muscle injury and limped off during the club’s defeat at the weekend. Former Manchester City man Stefan Savic is likely to replace him.
Yannick Carrasco also has a muscular problem and will miss out. Sime Vrsaljko is unavailable, as is Hector Herrera, who recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
Luis Suarez and Joao Felix are both expected to be available and should start.
Chelsea have confirmed Thiago Silva will not be available for Tuesday night’s fixture, so Andreas Christensen may feature in central defence.
Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are both doubts but are expected to travel regardless and Tammy Abraham is available despite being seen holding an ice pack on an injury after his withdrawal at the weekend.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Hermoso, Felipe, Savic; Llorente, Kondogbia, Koke, Saul, Lodi; Felix, Suarez.
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Abraham, Werner.
Atletico Madrid 0-2 Levante – La Liga – (20/2)
Levante 1-1 Atletico Madrid – La Liga – (17/2)
Granada 1-2 Atletico Madrid – La Liga – (13/2)
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Celta Vigo – La Liga – (8/2)
Cadiz 2-4 Atletico Madrid – La Liga – (31/1)
Southampton 1-1 Chelsea – Premier League – (20/2)
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United – Premier League – (15/2)
Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea – FA Cup – (11/2)
Sheffield United 1-2 Chelsea – Premier League (7/2)
Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea – Premier League (4/2)
Diego Simeone’s Atletico side have impressed in European competition over the years, regularly displaying a defensive solidarity that has seen them pick up some big results. Although the first leg will take place in Bucharest, the away goals rule is still in place and they will be desperate not to concede.
Chelsea have changed systems under Tuchel and it’s fair to say they’re still finding their feet under their new boss. They’ve conceded just twice in their last five fixtures but are yet to move into top gear as far as their attacking play is concerned.
Based on all of the above, we can probably expect a cagey and close encounter on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Chelsea