The Champions League round of 16 has not been in Chelsea’s favor in recent years – the Blues have not gone beyond this stage of the competition since 2014.
Thomas Tuchel and his players will strive to change that this season, starting tonight when they play their first game in their match against Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish giants have a good season; lead La Liga with three points and have a game in front of second-placed Real Madrid.
But the Athletes have key injuries – Jose Giminez, Hector Herrera and Yannick Carrasco are excluded – while their previously impenetrable defenses are no more, as explained in more detail here.
The fact that the match is not played at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Atletico due to the Spanish travel restriction Covid-19 for visitors from the UK is a big advantage for Chelsea.
Diego Simeone has never lost a home game as Atletico’s head coach in the Champions League. La Liga has also only once conceded in its previous 12 home games the knockout phase of the competition.
Chelsea will be without the influential Thiago Silva, but otherwise they will have a fully prepared team. Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic claim to have recovered from injuries.
Tonight in the United Kingdom, tonight’s game will be shown live on BT Sport 2. The start is at 8 p.m.