Chelsea FC

The Chelsea lineup that should start against Atletico Madrid

Tom Gott
Feb 22, 2021, 2:40 PM GMT
Chelsea will face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday
Chelsea will face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel will take charge of his first Champions League game as Chelsea manager when his side travel to Bucharest to meet La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Facing Atletico was a daunting proposition when the draw was made, but with Diego Simeone's side on a run of one win in their last four games, Tuchel will smell blood and must take advantage of the situation.

Here's how he should set his side up.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Christensen deserves a recall
Christensen deserves a recall | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Edouard Mendy (GK) - Kepa Arrizabalaga played the last Champions League game, but he'll be dropped back to the bench for this one.

Cesar Azpilicueta (CB) - Surprisingly effective as an overlapping centre-back, Azpilicueta has been impressive in Tuchel's system and will likely retain his place.

Andreas Christensen(CB) - With Thiago Silva still out injured, the Dane will expect to continue at the centre of the back three after his impressive displays of late.

Antonio Rudiger (CB) - Kurt Zouma made his first Premier League start under Tuchel last time out, but he didn't do enough to convince the boss to bench Rudiger.

2. Wing-backs & midfielders

Mount was Chelsea's saviour against Southampton
Mount was Chelsea's saviour against Southampton | Pool/Getty Images

Reece James (RWB) - More of a natural defender than Callum Hudson-Odoi, James will be relied upon to keep Atletico's tricky forwards at bay.

Mateo Kovacic (CM) - We already know how much Tuchel loves Kovacic. Even though he wasn't great against Southampton, he's surely still going to keep his place here.

N'Golo Kante (CM) - One of Kante's best performances in a Chelsea shirt came away to Atletico in 2017, and Tuchel will hope for something similar here.

Ben Chilwell (LWB) - Marcos Alonso wasn't great against Southampton, so Tuchel should look to give Chilwell another chance to impress.

Mason Mount (AM) - Mr Chelsea. Mount's forward-thinking and high press will be crucial to destabilising Atletico's solid defence.

Timo Werner (AM) - Werner's recent resurgence stalled against Southampton, but he still deserves to keep his spot in the team, particularly with nobody else really staking a claim.

3. Forward

Giroud should come back in
Giroud should come back in | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud (ST) - Tammy Abraham looked both unfit and uncomfortable against Southampton, so Giroud seems like the safer option. His four-goal haul against Sevilla earlier in the competition is still fresh in the memory.

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