European football matchday: Chelsea hold edge against Atletico Madrid in Champions League last 16; Bayern Munich lead Lazio
Chelsea will be without injured Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham when they host Atlético Madrid, holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg in the Champions League round of 16 thanks to Olivier Giroud’s acrobatic goal.
A look at what’s happening in European football on Wednesday:
Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid
Chelsea will be without injured Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham when they host Atlético Madrid, holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg in the Champions League round of 16 thanks to Olivier Giroud’s acrobatic goal. The Blues are also without suspended pair Jorginho and Mason Mount. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel noted that with five substitutions, “we will use the whole squad.”
Atlético have reached the quarter-finals or better in five of their last seven Champions League campaigns — all under Diego Simeone. Atlético's Luis Suárez has 18 goals, 10 of them coming in 2021.
Bayern Munich vs Lazio
It would take some incredible for Lazio to knock out the reigning European champions after Bayern won the first leg 4-1 in Rome. That win marked a return to form for Bayern after a poor run in the Bundesliga, and the German club has gone from strength to strength since.
A goal against Werder Bremen on Saturday took Robert Lewandowski to 38 for the season in all competitions and he could aim to break the 40 barrier against Lazio. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is sick and forward Kingsley Coman has a muscle problem. Neither trained with the team Tuesday but coach Hansi Flick said he hoped they would be available for the game.
Sevilla can strengthen their hold on fourth place in the Spanish league when they host relegation-threatened Elche in a match postponed from the second round because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sevilla were given extra time to rest after participating in the Europa League later into last season.
The team coached by Julen Lopetegui are in the final qualification spot for the Champions League and could increase their gap to fifth-placed Real Sociedad to nine points with a win at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium. Sevilla are coming off a home victory against Real Betis in the Seville derby. They have won seven of their last nine league games, with six clean sheets in that stretch. Elche, who beat Sevilla at home two weeks ago, are one point outside the relegation zone.
European football weekend: LaLiga title race reaches fever pitch, Bayern Munich on brink and derby in Ligue 1
It might not be a winner-takes-all clash like in 2014, victory could give either Atletico Madrid or Barcelona the momentum needed to go on and claim the title.
Up to 4,000 fans from both Chelsea and City could be allowed into the 76,000-seat Atatürk Olympic Stadium, which was originally due to host last season's final.
Champions League: Karim Benzema's volley earns Real Madrid 1-1 draw to leave semi-final tie against Chelsea in balance
Christian Pulisic grabbed Chelsea a deserved away goal in a soaking wet contest at Valdebebas but they might regret not pulling away, with the struggling Timo Werner again missing a golden chance.