Soccer

Chelsea expected XI for Atletico Madrid clash as Tuchel’s squad is confirmed

Chelsea will aim to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in seven years when they face Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their last-16 clash on Wednesday night.

The Blues head into their decider against Atletico with a 1-0 aggregate lead in the bank, having claimed a narrow victory in the first leg out in Madrid last month.

They will be confident of reaching the last eight amid their solid form under new head coach Thomas Tuchel, who has avoided defeat in his first 12 games at the helm.

However, Tuchel will be without four key members of his squad at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Mason Mount and Jorginho are both suspended after picking up their third yellow cards of the Champions League campaign in the first leg, meaning they must now serve a one-match ban.

Thiago Silva, who has been out of action since hobbling off injured during the Blues’ 1-0 win away at Tottenham on February 4, is still unavailable.

Tammy Abraham has also been absent of late with an ankle problem and will not be fit in time for Wednesday's game.

On the other hand, first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is fully fit and should get the nod ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga in between the sticks.

Tuchel is bound to revert back to his favoured 3-4-2-1 setup after an unsuccessful switch to 4-3-3 in last weekend’s 0-0 draw away at Leeds.

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  • And with Silva out, captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are likely to make up his back three.

    The Chelsea gaffer’s toughest decision comes in the wing-back slots, yet with a 1-0 lead to protect expect him to opt for the more defensive option in Reece James ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi on the right.

    Ben Chilwell was not at his best in Saturday’s stalemate at Leeds and will probably make way for Marcos Alonso over on the left.

    N’Golo Kante should partner Mateo Kovacic in the middle of the park amid Jorginho’s suspension, just behind Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner in the attacking-midfield slots.

    And after netting a sensational overhead-kick winner in the first leg, Olivier Giroud should be leading the Blues frontline once more.

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    Confirmed Chelsea squad available to face Atletico Madrid

    Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero

    Defenders: Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, Ben Chilwell, Marcos Alonso, Emerson Palmieri

    Midfielders: Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Billy Gilmour, Kai Havertz, Faustino Anjorin

    Strikers: Timo Werner, Olivier Giroud

    READ MORE:Roman Abramovich to break his personal rule so Chelsea can sign Erling Haaland

    READ MORE:Andreas Christensen reveals Thomas Tuchel masterplan – and what's still to come

    Source: Read Full Article