Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea | Champions League Fixture will take place in Bucharest
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has admitted that it does not play into Atletico Madrid‘s favour that the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday will take place in Bucharest, not the Spanish capital.
This is due to restrictions from the Spanish government on flights arriving from the United Kingdom, yet nevertheless, Tuchel is expecting a tough match against Diego Simeone‘s side.
“It’s a big test, physically and mentally,” Tuchel said during Monday’s pre-match press conference.
“They are a very experienced group, a very experienced club at this level, and an experienced and tough coach to play against. It’s a big test and that’s what we want because hopefully it brings out the best in us.
“We will do it our way; they will do things their way. It’s clear what you get when you play Atletico: fighting, experience and a team with a strong mentality.
“There are many teams that have experienced that. They are the leader in Spain, but we have our qualities and the focus is on us.”
“Clearly it’s a disadvantage for Atletico Madrid to lose their home ground for the first leg. We don’t have to talk around that, it’s obvious.”
Luis Suarez has been on fire for Atletico in LaLiga Santander thi season, and Tuchel has admitted that he tried to bring the striker to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
“Who can not be interested in signing one of the best strikers in world football history and present?” Tuchel said.
“He is a natural striker and has the certain mentality that only strikers have. This mentality is to show his will, intensity and anger to score, score and score.”
Thiago Silva departed the Parc des Princes and made the switch to Chelsea last summer, a few months before Tuchel himself would make the same journey. The Brazilian, however, will miss out against Atleti on Tuesday.
“He is not available,” Tuchel said of Silva. “He is training right now. We are leaving and he is not available.”