Atletico Madrid are likely to be without three key players ahead of their Champions League clash with Chelsea on Tuesday.
Los Rojiblancos host the Blues in the first leg of their last 16 to be played in Romania, but Diego Simeone will miss Yannick Carrasco, Jose Gimenez, and Sime Vrsaljko. Confirming the traveling squad over the weekend, Simeone also confirmed that Kieran Trippier will
not be part of the trip to Bucharest and will remain behind.
Gimenez was forced off during their shock 0-2 home loss to Levante over the weekend and could not make the final squad as he continues to be assessed. The Uruguayan has struggled with nagging muscle injuries since the turn of the year, and he joins Vrsaljko and Carrasco on the sidelines.
According to many soccer betting fans, there is no better time for Chelsea to face Atletico Madrid. Despite establishing an assailable lead in the La Liga, Diego Simeone’s side have their weaknesses. The recent home loss against a struggling side and an away win for Real Madrid means that their lead was reduced to three points, but Atletico have played a game less.
Alongside Sevilla at third, Los Rojiblancos boast the meanest defence after conceding 16 times and are the second top scorers with 45 goals, five less than Barcelona.
Going into the crucial Champions League clash against Chelsea, Atletico will be concerned about their recent form that has seen them soak in ten goals in seven matches.
They haven’t kept a clean sheet since their 2-0 win against Sevilla on the 12th of January, which is so uncharacteristic of them. They will be forgiven for focusing too much on the upcoming Champions League fixture and forgetting the threat of Levante, a side struggling to avoid relegation.
After the game against Levante, Atletico defender Mario Hermoso could not hide his disappointment. “Again, we’ve conceded goals that we shouldn’t have despite not conceding goals is one of the things that characterize us.”
However, they will be buoyed by the form of Luis Suarez, who leads the La Liga scoring chart with 16 strikes, Marcos Llorente, and Joao Felix on eight and six goals, respectively.
For Chelsea, Los Rojiblancos present a touch challenge for new boss Thomas Tuchel. They have a tough fixture ahead in the English Premier League, including away ties at Manchester United and Liverpool, but Tuchel will not want his boys to lose focus.
Moving the match from Spain to Bucharest, Romania will also be an added advantage to Chelsea, who will feel that they have an equal chance against the La Liga leaders.
Thomas Tuchel has no fresh injury concerns, with only Thiago Silva expected to miss the tie.
The news that Mason Mount’s injury scare suffered during the Southampton clash was not as bad as initially feared could not have come at a better time for Chelsea.
Mount has been one of the best performers for the Blues recently, recently rescuing a point for them after Takumi Minamino’s strike at St. Marys.
He is not a regular scorer as Tuchel would want him to, but his overall contribution in the team has always been massive.
The academy graduate left the stadium with an ice-pack covering his knee, and there were fears the Champions League tie would be coming too soon for him.
On Monday, he declared himself fully fit and ready to play.