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Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid Preview: Boost and loss for Simeone and Tuchel

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Chelsea and Atletico Madrid face off at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in a bid to join the likes of Paris Saint Germain, Liverpool, Porto and Dortmund in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. 

Thomas Tuchel’s side hold the advantage going into the second leg after securing a 0-1 lead in the first tie thanks to an incredible strike from Olivier Giroud.

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But the German tactician would sound out a warning to his players that the battle is not over especially with Atletico Madrid welcoming three key players.

Team news: Boost and loss for Simeone and Tuchel

Chelsea

For the home side, they will have four players missing out from action on Wednesday night.

Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham, who is undervalued by both club and manager, were ruled out from Chelsea’s goalless draw with Leeds United on Saturday and the pair are likely to sit out this game as well.

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Chelsea will also miss both Mason Mount and Jorginho through suspension after the pair were booked in the first leg.

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid Preview: Boost and loss for Simeone and Tuchel
Tuchel will have to find a replacement for Mason Mount

Thomas Tuchel will thus have some tinkering to do to cover the loss but that shouldn’t be a problem for a coach who has made close to 60 changes to his starting XI in the Premier League since coming in.

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Mateo Kovacic who was rested at the weekend is expected to partner Kante in midfield, but there is no certainty as to who will start in replacement of Mason Mount.

Christian Pulisic who started his first Premier League game since the arrival of Tuchel can play in the Mount role, while Odoi could also be pushed further up in the role.

Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz, who has impressed in recent weeks, will also fancy occupying the spot on Wednesday night.

Atletico Madrid

While Chelsea and Tuchel have some losses to cover, their opponents will be boosted by the return of three key players for the return encounter.

Yannick Carrasco and Trippier who are the preferred wing backs for Simeone were missing in action for the first leg but are now available for selection, while Gimenez  has also returned from his injury.

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid Preview: Boost and loss for Simeone and Tuchel
Gimenez (left) and Trippier (right) are available for action on Wednesday

Simeone and his side struggled to threaten the defense of Chelsea in the first leg, but the situation is expected to be different with Carrasco and Trippier likely to get back into the starting XI.

The return of Gimenez who is a reported transfer target for Chelsea will also keep the Chelsea front line at bay and make sure they do not find joy on home soil.

Fortunately for Simeone too, there are no other injury concerns or suspensions ahead of the game.

Predicted Lineups

Both teams are likely to line up with a back three with the only difference being the visitors going with a five-man midfield and the hosts with a four-man midfield.

Chelsea predicted XI (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger; Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso; Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech; Olivier Giroud

Atletico Madrid predicted XI (3-5-2): Oblak; Hermoso, Raul Jimenez, Stefan Savic; Trippier, Koke, Marcos Llorente, Saul Niguez, Yannick Carrasco; Joao Felix, Luis Suarez

 

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