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Diego Simeone’s Atletico will be the ‘home’ side in this first leg, which was relocated from Madrid to Romania due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. The last clash between the teams came in December 2017, when the clubs played out a 1-1 draw in west London in the first round of this same tournament. Three months prior, Chelsea won 2-1 in the Spanish capital.
Chelsea have had three new head coaches since those meetings, with Thomas Tuchel joining this January after the Blues had already qualified from the group stage of this term’s Champions League. And the German will want to go one step further with the Premier League club than he did last season with Paris Saint-Germain, whom he led to the final of the competition, where they were defeated by Bayern Munich.
FOLLOW LIVE: Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea – Latest updates
The Blues eased through the group stage unbeaten under former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard earlier this term, while La Liga leaders Atletico responded to a 4-0 loss against defending champions Bayern in gameweek 1 by avoiding further defeats over the course of the rest of the group stage.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s match.
When is it?
The game kicks off at 8pm GMT this evening.
How can I watch it?
The match will air live on BT Sport, with subscribers also able to stream the action live on the broadcaster’s website and app.
What is the team news?
Atletico are without centre-back Jose Gimenez, who is suffering from a muscle issue, but Stefan Savic returns from suspension for this evening’s game. Winger Yannick Carrasco will be absent for the Spanish side, also suffering from a muscle injury, and Sime Vrsaljko is another absentee. Hector Herrera, meanwhile, is out due to a positive coronavirus test result.
For Chelsea, central defender Thiago Silva will be missing – another victim of a muscular problem – while midfielders Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are both doubts. Tammy Abraham is fit, having recently overcome an ankle injury.
Atletico XI: Oblak; Llorente, Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Correa, Koke, Saul, Lemar; Joao Felix, Luis Suarez
Chelsea XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso; Mount, Jorginho, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Werner
Expect a nervy clash in Romania, with Chelsea managing to grab a crucial ‘away’ goal to set up a nail-biting second leg next month. Atletico 1-1 Chelsea.