Chelsea are preparing to face La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in Romania on Tuesday in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg, and they might have an advantage over their Spanish counterparts.
Chelsea could have one big advantage over Atletico Madrid for Tuesday’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg clash.
Atletico may already feel hard done by after their home fixture was moved to Bucharest, Romania, due to the Spanish government extending its ban over UK arrivals due to coronavirus.
But the La Liga leaders also face the disadvantage of having to play just days before heading to Romania for that all-important clash with Chelsea.
That’s because Diego Simeone‘s men took on Levante away from home on Wednesday as part of a doubleheader with the Valencia-based club who are enjoying a rather impressive season themselves.
Atletico drew 1-1 with Levante away from home in what was a bruising contest, playing one of their games in hand from earlier in the year.
And they will face Levante again in the league on Saturday, this time at home, racking up three games within a space of six days, while Chelsea will have no such issues. The Blues face Southampton on Saturday, but they had no mid-week games this week having fully caught up on their Premier League schedule. That could be a source of frustration for Atletico Madrid, particularly with players returning from injury. Key defender Jose Maria Gimenez was recently ruled out for three weeks but returned after just one game.
Gimenez started the game on Wednesday and while he is said to have made a ‘full recovery’, the pile-up of games certainly won’t help his case.
The talented Joao Felix has also returned, after contracting coronavirus, and he appeared off the bench on Wednesday night.
It will be interesting to see if Simeone now rests any key players this weekend as his men face Levante again, particularly when it comes to those two recently returned players and veteran striker Luis Suarez who, at the age of 34, has racked up 23 appearances already this season.
Though, Simeone may still go with a strong side, keen for his side to keep their strong advantage at the top of the La Liga table, now six points ahead with one game in hand.