UEFA Champions League: Chelsea lock horns with Atletico Madrid — Daily Times Nigeria

UEFA Champions League: Chelsea lock horns with Atletico Madrid

Chelsea face La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid at the Puskas Arena, Budapest, in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday evening, with the game having been moved to Romania because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

Thomas Tuchel’s men were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday to end a five-match winning run, while Atletico suffered their first home league defeat in 14 months – going down 2-0 against Levante.

Atletico has long been one of Europe’s best defensive outfits, but they come into this clash on one of their worst runs in recent years.

Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Levante was the seventh consecutive game in which Los Rojiblancos have conceded, their longest run of matches without a clean sheet since Diego Simeone took over in December 2011.

Chelsea should be able to take advantage of this considering they have netted in 18 of their last 20 encounters in all competitions, as well as in their last five Champions League.

There should definitely be some interest in opposing the hosts to keep a clean sheet, given their current defensive run as well as the visitors’ efficiency in the final third. 

Los Rojiblancos are still missing the suspended Kieran Trippier, whilst Yannick Carrasco is a major doubt after missing the weekend game with a muscle problem and midfielder Hector Herrera is also out with coronavirus.

Chelsea will be hoping that injured trio Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, and Thiago Silva will be fit enough to be included in the matchday squad, with all three players closing in on returns from their respective injuries.

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Ogbonna Ugorji

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