Atletico Madrid will lock horns with Chelsea at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest as both sides look to get the better of each other in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie. The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw against Southampton in the Premier League, which has halted their momentum going into this midweek clash. However, Diego Simeone’s men are not in a good run of form as Levante beat them by a 2-0 scoreline last weekend.
Diego Simeone will probably set his team up in a 3-4-2-1 formation and could ask his players to be tough to beat so that they can create the odd chance without conceding an away goal in Bucharest. We can expect Atletico to feed balls to Joao Felix and Luis Suarez at every chance they get in midweek.
Thomas Tuchel will also opt for a 3-4-2-1 formation and might instruct his men to enjoy more of the ball so that they can create enough chances to win this away encounter at the Arena Nationala.
Simeone could be forced to bring Stefan Savic back for this game to replace the injured Jose Gimenez. Hector Herrera will also miss out on this clash because of injury, while Kieran Trippier is suspended for this match.
Atletico Madrid Predicted XI
Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Llorente, Kondogbia, Koke, Saul, Lodi; Felix, Suarez
Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham are all significant concerns ahead of this game.
Chelsea Predicted XI
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Werner
Joao Felix and Luis Suarez will carry most of the goal-scoring workload for the Madrid giants up top. The defensive performance of Stefan Savic, Felipe and Mario Hermoso could go a long way in determining the outcome of this game.
Both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante will have to be at their best if they want to win the midfield battle. Timo Werner and Mason Mount will have to share most of Chelsea’s creative burden in the opposition half, so they need to be at the top of their game if the Blues are to come out victorious on Tuesday night.
The West London club are the favourites to win this contest after they were priced at evens by the bookmakers. The draw has been listed at 21/10 while Simeone’s side are 31/20 underdogs to pick up the victory in midweek.
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