Predicted XI

Hudson-Odoi back in to start – How Chelsea could line up against Atletico

Hudson-Odoi has starred for Tuchel so far and should come back into the lineup in the Champions League.

8:49am on Monday 22nd February 2021
Nicholas Hughes

Thomas Tuchel will lead his Chelsea team into the Champions League for the first time when they face Atletico Madrid at Bucharest’s Arena Nationala on Tuesday night.

The Blues topped Group E under Frank Lampard, but Tuchel has seemingly taken the team to another level in his first month in charge, going unbeaten in his first six Premier League games.

Chelsea: Squad, FC Ratings, Matches, Formations

2020/21 Champions League: Matches, Team Stats, Player Stats

The German shocked many by naming Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal for the 2-0 win over Newcastle last week, but Edouard Mendy was restored against Southampton and should continue in net.

The three-at-the-back formation is reaping its benefits so far, and it could have the added boost of the returning Thiago Silva for this clash.

The Brazilian has missed the last three league games after limping off against Tottenham at the beginning of the month, but is in line to start despite not making the matchday squad at St. Mary’s.

The casualty at the back will likely be Antonio Rudiger, with Kurt Zouma continuing his solid season and Cesar Azpilicueta relishing more first-team opportunities.

Ben Chilwell will likely replace Marcos Alonso at left-back from the team that drew 1-1 at Southampton, but Reece James should continue on the right-hand side.

Jorginho missed his first league minutes since Tuchel’s arrival when he started on the bench against Saints, but expect him to come back in at the expense of Ngolo Kante in midfield.

Mason Mount has shown no signs of slacking off since Lampard’s departure, adding another goal to his tally with a penalty at the weekend.

The 22-year-old has been a standout performer for Chelsea this season, and he should be joined in the front three by Timo Werner and fellow academy graduate Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Hudson-Odoi is the only player to have featured in some part in all seven of Chelsea’s games in all competitions since the managerial change, and Tuchel’s confidence in him has been of particular note early on in his reign.

Tuchel will be hoping his players can transition their league form into equally as prolific form in the Champions League, as he personally will still be stinging from defeat in last season’s final with PSG.

Chelsea starting XI versus Atletico Madrid

Chelsea - Football tactics and formations

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