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Atlético vs Chelsea Champions League preview: where to watch, predicted line-ups, team news

Where to watch, predicted line-ups, team news for the round of 16 first leg.

Thomas Tuchel takes training ahead of his first European game with Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel takes training ahead of his first European game with Chelsea Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Atlético host Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on 23 February at 21:00 CET.

Atlético vs Chelsea build-up

What's the story?

Atlético and Chelsea lock horns in last 16
Atlético and Chelsea lock horns in last 16

Last season's chastening 7-1 aggregate loss to Bayern condemned Chelsea to a fourth successive round of 16 elimination, and on form that run is expected to continue. The Blues impressed in the group stage, winning 4-0 at Sevilla, but have since stuttered, replacing head coach Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel in January. Meanwhile, Atlético (who ended Liverpool's defence at this stage 12 months ago) are making a strong bid for their first Liga title since 2013/14.

The game will be played at the Arena Naţională in Bucharest, Romania.

Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

Form guide

Atlético
Form
: LDWDWW
Latest: Atlético 0-2 Levante, 20/02
Next: Atlético vs Chelsea, 23/02 (UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg)
Where they stand: 1st in Liga

Classic Chelsea v Atlético goals
Classic Chelsea v Atlético goals

Chelsea
Form
: DWWWWW
Latest: Southampton 1-1 Chelsea, 20/02
Next: Atlético vs Chelsea, 23/02 (UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg)
Where they stand: 5th in Premier League

Possible line-ups

Atlético: Oblak; Llorente, Savić, Felipe, Hermoso, Ñíguez; Koke, Kondogbia, Lemar; Félix, Suárez

Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rüdiger; James, Kanté, Kovačić, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Werner

Expert predictions

Joe Walker, Atlético reporter: Diego Simeone’s switch to a 5-3-2 this season has worked wonders domestically, however in Europe Atlético have been less convincing and face a major test against a revitalised Chelsea side under new management. Injuries are also starting to take their toll on the squad, especially in defence, however with the likes of Luis Suárez and João Félix firing in attack, we might see an uncharacteristically attack-minded 'home' performance from the Rojiblancos.

Jon Phipps, Chelsea reporter: It's all change at Chelsea since they breezed through the group, with Thomas Tuchel in the dug-out after Frank Lampard's sacking. The Blues are unbeaten under their new boss and have climbed back up the Premier League table since his arrival. But this will be a big test for the former Paris boss and his charges against the Liga leaders.

Match stats and facts

View from the camps

Čech reaction to Chelsea-Atlético tie
Čech reaction to Chelsea-Atlético tie

Diego Simeone, Atlético coach: "Chelsea have changed a lot under [Thomas Tuchel], who pushes teams to play well. They are a powerful team with great players, and they have made a good financial investment. Seeing the level of the three goalkeepers they have, it shows the potential of the team. Their attackers could play in any team in Europe."

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea manager: "It's a big test. They are an experienced club at this level, an experienced coach. Hopefully it brings out the best in us. We will do things our way, they will do things their way. It's clear what you get when you play Atlético: fighting, experience, a team with a good mentality."

Squad changes

Atlético
In: Moussa Dembélé, Álvaro García, Geoffrey Kondogbia
Out: Borja Garcés, Diego Costa, Ismael Gutiérrez, Manu Sánchez, Juan Manuel Sanabria, Ivan Šaponjić, Germán Valera

Chelsea
In: none
Out: Fikayo Tomori

More to follow