Chelsea is closer to the quarterfinals of the Champions League after winning the first match in Bucharest (1: 0), but Diego Simeone's team is not giving up. Atletico Madrid is in bad shape, the title already seen in the Primera is not so certain now.
Barcelona and Real are threatening in the domestic championship, and Madrid will arrive tonight (21.00) at Stamford Bridge and they will play against Chelsea in the return match of the eighth-finals of the Euro-elite. Thomas Tuchel completely revived the Blues.
From the moment the German arrived in London, the London team did not suffer defeat in 12 consecutive matches, and they achieved as many as eight victories. One of the most important in that series was achieved just three weeks ago against Atletico Madrid with a goal by Olivier Giroud, so the host has a very favorable situation to solve the issue of passing among the eight best teams in Europe at home.
However, it would be disastrous for the host to think that they finished the job in the first match because Atletico Madrid cannot look so bad in two tied matches in the elite competition. With some goals scored, Atletico would manage to make the fight for the quarterfinals quite exciting and uncertain.
Tuchel cannot count on the injured Brazilian defender Thiago Silva and striker Tammy Abraham for the match with the leader of Primera. This year's signing from Paris Saint-Germain is out of the team for a few weeks due to injury, and the Englishman is injured also and he is suffering from an ankle.
Both are not ready for the duel with Atletico, but they could find themselves in competition for the team over the weekend. A big handicap for Chelsea are the suspensions due to the cards of the excellent Mason Mount and Jorginho.
Timo Werner and veteran Giroud could play in the attack, while Kai Havertz, who is still looking for the right form, and Hakim Ziyech, a newcomer from Ajax, will have a chance from the bench. Tuchel changed the way Chelsea played.
The Blues are conceding fewer goals, unlike in the first part of the season, when club legend Frank Lampard was at the helm. Under the command of former coach Paris Saint-Germain, the team from London received only two goals in 12 games.
One is an own goal, the work of Rudiger against Sheffield United, while the Japanese Minamino was the only one to shake the Chelsea net in the Southampton jersey during the German mandate on the bench. In 12 games under Tuchel's leadership, only once did 3+ come, against Sheffield United in the Premier League (2: 1).
In 10 of 12 matches, Chelsea have not conceded a goal since the German arrived on the bench.
Tuchel on Simeone
"Simeone's team is one of the most difficult. Their characteristic is discipline, hard-working and organized defense.
They have incredible quality in attack, they can hold the ball in their possession for a long time in the middle. They are a complete team," said Tuchel. Simeone has no problem with the team. He announced from the first minute the Portuguese Joao Felix, who will keep Uruguayan Luis Suarez in the attack.
The Belgian Carasco is also returning in the starting 11, while the joker could be Dembele, who arrived from Lyon this winter. "Joao Felix, as we have always mentioned, is a really important player for us. He will play from the beginning.
He really had a quality start to the season." "We need him in this important match. All players have different stages during their professional careers, especially when they are young ", the Argentine believes in the most expensive signing in the history of the club, paid to Benfica two years ago as much as 126,000,000 euros.