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Tuchel Wary Of Threat Of Atletico’s Suarez

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Chelsea will be without defender Thiago Silva for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

However, midfielders Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are fit again and could feature in Romania.

Atletico’s injured absentees include Jose Gimenez, Sime Vrsaljko and Yannick Carrasco, while Hector Herrera recently tested positive for Covid-19.

But Luis Suarez and Joao Felix should both start for the La Liga leaders.

Kieran Trippier also misses out for the Spanish club, with the England full-back still serving a suspension for breaking betting rules.

Chelsea go into the tie unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager in January.

But while a switch of venue from Madrid to Bucharest due to coronavirus travel restrictions will be a “disadvantage” to Atletico, Tuchel says the game will still provide his side with a huge challenge.

“It’s a big test. They’re an experienced club at this level, (have) an experienced coach. Hopefully it brings out the best in us,” said Tuchel.

“We’ll do things our way, they’ll do things their way. It’s clear what you get when you play Atletico – fighting, experience, a team with a good mentality.”

One player that Chelsea will need to pay particular attention to is former Liverpool and Barcelona forward Suarez.

The 34-year-old is La Liga’s joint top goalscorer with former teammate Lionel Messi and Tuchel says he tried to sign the Uruguayan while he was still the Paris St-Germain boss last summer.

“He is a natural-born striker. He has the certain mentality that only strikers have,” said Tuchel. “This mentality to show his will, intensity and anger to score and score and score and is never satisfied.”

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