Despite the match not being played in Spain, Atletico Madrid are the home side as they take on Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in the first leg of their last-16 UEFA Champions League tie.

The La Liga club have reached two Champions League and three Europa League finals in the last 11 seasons, meanwhile, and have been victorious in nine of their 11 two-legged knockout contests with English teams.

Chelsea, meanwhile, comfortably progressed to the last-16 stage of the tournament, finishing top of Group E having picked up 14 points from their six games against Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes.

The Spanish outfit come into the game after a shock 2-0 home defeat to Levante but remain atop the La Liga table with 55 points, two ahead of second place Real Madrid but still have a game in hand over their city rivals.

The Blues are fifth in the English Premier League after coming from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against Southampton on Saturday.

Chelsea’s new head coach Tuchel led Paris Saint-Germain to last season’s Champions League final, ultimately losing to Bayern, and the 47-year-old will be desperate to continue his positive start at the helm.

What time does Atletico vs Chelsea start?

The game will kick off at 11pm Kenyan time at the National Stadium in Bucharest.

Atletico vs Chelsea team news

Jose Gimenez, who limped off against Levante on the weekend, will not feature in this game and joins Yannick Carrasco on the sidelines with the Belgian suffering from a thigh injury.

Hector Herrera will also miss the tie after a recent positive coronavirus test but the deadly duo of Joao Felix and Luis Suarez are fit and will be the key point of Atletico’s attack.

Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are doubtful for Chelsea but Tammy Abraham, who overcame an ankle injury, is expected to be selected to lead the attacking line for Chelsea.

Experienced Thiago Silva should also be fit to return to the starting XI having missed the draw against Southampton.

Tuchel may pick Ngolo Kante to replace Matteo Kovacic in midfield as well as Timo Werner and Mason Mount to be given the nod to support the attack.

Atletico vs Chelsea head to head

These two sides have gone up against each other 7 times in the past, with both sides coming out on top twice.

Another three matches have ended in a draw, including a 1-1 stalemate the last time they met on December 5, 2017.

Atletico vs Chelsea current form

The home side’s form has not been as good as it was throughout the season and have won twice, drawn twice and lost another game during their last 5 matches.

Chelsea on the other hand are still yet to lose under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel, winning four and drawing another in the last 5 games.

Atletico vs Chelsea prediction

With how tight the Atletico defense has been throughout the season and Chelsea’s inability to score many goals, this could be a low scoring game.

Home advantage is not a key factor and this could probably end in a draw.

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