GOOD EVENING FROM BUCHAREST
Welcome to SunSport’s live coverage of the Champions League match between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.
The leaders of La Liga face Thomas Tuchel’s rejuvenated Blues in the first leg of this season’s last 16 as they embark on the knockout stages of the competition for the seventh time in eight years.
However, Atleti will be unable to utilise the usual home advantage with the fixture moved to Romania due to the Spanish Government’s coronavirus measures.
It could be a blessing in disguise for the Spaniards if Saturday’s home performance is anything to go by; Diego Simeone’s men fell to their first league defeat at the Metropolitano Stadium in 14 months when they were defeated 2-0 by Levante.
To make matters worse, Jose Maria Gimenez hobbled off in that loss, and the Chelsea transfer target will be unavailable to face his long-term suitors.
Elsewhere, Hector Herrera has tested positive for Covid-19 and misses out along with the likes of Sime Vrsaljko and Yannick Carrasco.
The visitors had hoped to welcome back the experienced Thiago Silva for this clash, but the Brazilian remains out with a suspected hamstring injury.
The Brazilian aside, Chelsea have otherwise travelled to Bucharest with a fully fit squad – and that includes Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was substituted 30 minutes after coming on himself in the draw at Southampton at the weekend.
The Londoners are unbeaten in seven games since Tuchel took charge at Stamford Bridge, but his toughest test undoubtedly awaits him this evening.
We’ll have confirmation of tonight’s starting line-ups imminently with kick-off at the National Arena to come at 8pm.