Madrid, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid have to put an end to Chelsea’s 12-match unbeaten run, which started under new coach Thomas Tuchel, to make it to this year’s Champions Leagues quarter-finals.
Last year, Atletico knocked defending champions Liverpool at this stage of the competition, building on a first-leg advantage to win 2-3 in Anfield in what was one of the last top-tier football games to take place in the United Kingdom before the Covid-19 lockdown.
This time round, the team will have to rally back from a 1-0 deficit against Chelsea on Wednesday in a game that will take place behind closed doors.
Their best bets rely on Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, the second top scorer in La Liga this season so far with 18 goals — only three shy of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
However, the Uruguayan striker has not scored in an away Champions League game since bringing his former team, Barcelona, level 1-1 against Roma on 16 September 2016.
“Possibly (tomorrow) is the day for Luis to end this run you are talking about, right? Why not? Tomorrow can be a very good day,” Atletico’s Argentine coach Diego Simeone said during a presser on the eve of the game.
“We face a very good team. Since their coach’s arrival, they have never lost, they are strong at home. They play very well,” he said on Chelsea.
Although Chelsea extended their unbeaten run last weekend against Leeds United, they lacked the sharp-edged final touch, which can prove costly against Atletico.
The Blues have to do without midfielders Jorginho andMason Mount due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich will take on Lazio in a second-leg clash deemed by some pundits as a mere formality given the German team’s 4-1 first leg win and the fact that they have scored 12 goals in their previous three Bundesliga wins.