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Duo fit to face Atletico Madrid but defender remains sidelined

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic are both fine to face Atletico Madrid but Thiago Silva remains sidelined.

The Blues travel to Bucharest later today ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League round of 16 clash with the Spanish side, which will be played at a neutral venue, with Havertz and Pulisic both part of the travelling 23-man squad.

Thiago Silva, however, will not join the travelling party with Tuchel confirming that the Brazilian will stay behind to train.

‘This is a game that is certainly made for someone of Thiago’s quality but unfortunately he is not available,’ explained Tuchel. ‘He is training right now, while we are leaving shortly.

‘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.’

The Blues will touch down in Bucharest later, the capital of Romania, after the decision was made to play this Champions League tie at a neutral venue.

Tuchel has admitted that he can understand if our Spanish opponents feel somewhat at a disadvantage to lose their home leg advantage due to the venue change, but expects a tough test against Diego Simeone’s side nonetheless.

‘Of course t's a big test,’ added the German. ‘They are an experienced club at his level with an experienced coach. Hopefully it brings out the best in us.

‘We will do things our way, they will do things their way. It's clear what you get when you play Atletico: fighting, experience, a team with a good mentality.

‘Clearly it’s a disadvantage for Atletico Madrid to lose their home ground for the first leg. We don’t have to talk around that, it’s obvious.

‘I think we are well equipped [to compete in the Champions League], I love what I see on a daily basis at Cobham. I love what I feel, I love what I see with the intensity, the quality and the hunger in training.

‘Here at Chelsea, I feel a strong club. I have a strong bond with the players and I have complete trust in this group and the quality of each individual. When you get to this stage, you have to perform to your absolute maximum.

‘I’m very happy and excited to arrive in Bucharest because every time we arrive, I see a good response from the boys and I expect the same tomorrow night.

‘We have the possibility to take 23 players, we can make five changes and it gives us lots of possibilities tomorrow.’

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