Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has claimed playing their Champions League last 16 first leg at a neutral venue will be a disadvantage for opponents Atletico Madrid.
UEFA and Spanish health authorities refused to allow the clash to take place in Madrid tomorrow night, due to Covid-19 related restrictions surrounding travel from the UK to Spain.
The ‘home’ game will now be played at Bucharest’s National Arena, and Tuchel believes that will be a greater issue for Atletico than his new side.
“It is a disadvantage for Atlético not to play at home,” he told an interview with Marca.
“The Champions League is an exciting competition, but my players know they have to give their all in every game.
“In the Champions League knockout stages you need to perform at the highest level, particularly against a team like when Atlético.
“Atlético are a team with a lot of experience in the competition, with a great mentality, and you know they will fight a lot.”
Tuchel also confirmed he did attempt to sign Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez, during his time at Paris Saint-Germain in 2020, but the Uruguayan was persuaded to move to Madrid.
The German boss has never faced Atletico Madrid during his managerial career and his side have a mixed record against the Spanish giants.
Chelsea were unbeaten against Atletico in the 2013/14 Champions League group stages, but Simeone’s side memorably knocked them out of the Champions League semi finals in 2017.