Chelsea have no time to dwell on their disappointing draw against Southampton in the Premier League, as a grueling match-up against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League awaits next.
The Champions League Round of 16 clash against the La Liga leaders is arguably Thomas Tuchel's biggest test as Chelsea manager. The German tactician has notched up four wins and two draws in his brief stint at the helm of the Blues.
Addressing the media ahead of Chelsea's trip to Bucharest, Tuchel talked about the opposition and provided an update of his squad. On that note, let's have a look at the top Chelsea news stories as on February 23, 2021.
Also read: Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea prediction, preview, team news and more | UEFA Champions League 2020-21.
Thiago Silva ruled out of Chelsea's Champions League clash
In his press conference earlier in the day, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel announced that star defender Thiago Silva will not travel with the team to Madrid, as he is not fit yet.
Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are back in contention for the game against Atletico Madrid. But the duo may not start at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Tuchel said in this regard:
"This is a game that is certainly made for someone of Thiago’s quality, but unfortunately he is not available. He is training right now, while we are leaving shortly."
He further added:
"I’m very happy that both Kai and Christian are in the group. They trained with us earlier and had no complaints. They will travel with us, and they are in the squad for tomorrow."
Tuchel sheds light on Hudson-Odoi's situation
In the game against Southampton, Tuchel made plenty of tactical adjustments. Callum Hudson-Odoi was sacrificed in the dying stages despite coming off the bench himself.
The forward, who has been an integral part of the new-look Chelsea, apparently lacked in intensity in his counter-pressing, as suggested by Tuchel:
"First of all, we decided to speak to him in front of the whole group because I had my reasons for doing it. Was it the right decision, I don’t know. It was my decision in that moment. We spoke in front of the whole group to not make it bigger than it is because for us it was not a big thing."
The Chelsea manager, however, sounded pleased with the player's professionalism in how he dealt with the situation, saying in this regard:
"I already said right after the game it was a decision for that day, and this is the lesson to learn from that day for him and for me also, and we go on, and then it is forgotten and that is absolutely the way. Here in Cobham, between us two and between me and the team, it is business as usual and no big thing."
Cesar Azpilicueta sheds light on his Chelsea future
Cesar Azpilicueta, 31, has arguably been one of Chelsea's best defenders in the modern era.
The right-back, who is in his ninth season at Stamford Bridge, has played under a plethora of managers for the club.
The ever-present servant for the club was asked about his future as he nears the twilight of his career in the next few years. Cesar Azpilicueta said in this regard:
“I am very happy at Chelsea. I don’t like to look too far ahead. I enjoy the moment, I have the ambition to leave the club at as high a level as I can, and I am going to train and play with the hope of continuing to do important things. Hopefully that lasts a long time.”
The Chelsea captain has about 18 months left in his contract with the London club.