MX23RW : Sunday, February 28 12:12:48| >> :120:12616:12616:

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone sings Thomas Tuchel's praises

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone sings Thomas Tuchel's praises
© Reuters
The Champions League last-16 first leg in Romania will be the first competitive meeting between the experienced coaches.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has heaped praise on Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg.

The tie will take place in Bucharest instead of Madrid due to coronavirus travel restrictions and will see the Argentinian face the German for the first time in a competitive fixture.

Since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge last month he has guided the Blues to five wins out of seven in all competitions, and also led former club Paris St Germain to the final of the Champions League in August.

"We just have to make a good game against a very big team, with a new coach, a very big coach and an important one that did his job everywhere he went to," Simeone said.

"Chelsea is a very strong club, they develop every time and every year. They bring a lot of new players and invest in young players.

"When they didn't see the investment and it didn't pay, they had that change. They brought Tuchel but it is a really big team and since he came he put a good change in the numbers.

"Just look at what players they have at goalkeeper, at striker and everyone who is on the bench can very well play in any team in Europe."

Atletico are not blessed with such luxuries but made a key addition during the summer when they convinced Luis Suarez to join from LaLiga rivals Barcelona.

The ex-Liverpool striker has repaid the faith of Simeone with 16 goals to fire them to the top of the table.

"It is very important the presence of Luis Suarez in every competition, not just in the Champions League because he gives energy, he gives trust," the 50-year-old added.

"All the opponents are really paying a lot of attention to him because this is a man who is scoring. Of course he is important every day."

Chelsea will be without Thiago Silva but Simeone played down any advantage that will give to his team.

Atletico will be in unfamiliar surroundings despite this being a home tie, with the fixture to go ahead at the Arena Nationala following Spanish government restrictions on travellers entering the country from England.

Simone insisted: "We don't have to talk about things we cannot manage. This is what we are living today.

"There are a lot of difficulties for many people, many hard workers and we just love football so this is what we have to do. This is where we have to play and we just have to concentrate on the game that we have here."

Ex-Manchester City centre-back Stefan Savic will feature in Atletico's three-man defence on Tuesday and could be up against Marcos Alonso, who he played with at Fiorentina.

The Montenegro international talked up the Spanish wing-back, and the impact of Tuchel.

"I know Marcos very well," Savic said. "We are speaking about a great player and one of my friends from football. I am glad to see him tomorrow but I hope he will get out from this game a little bit sad because I hope we can win.

"With the arrival of Tuchel and the change of system, they are playing with three centre-backs and I think they are now dominating more the game and they have positive results from when he came.

"We are expecting a very difficult game because they have a lot of talented, young players. Offensively very good and we know it will be very difficult, but we are ready."


Click here for more stories about Diego Simeone

Click here for more stories about Chelsea

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Bayern Munich's Benjamin Pavard celebrates scoring against Tigres in the Club World Cup final on February 11, 2021
Read Next:
Five talking points ahead of this week's Champions League matches
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Scottish League Cup
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Danish Superliga
Segunda Division
Eerste Divisie
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Australian A-League
J1 League
Women's Super League
Six Nations
Gallagher Premiership
1Manchester CityMan City26195252163662
2Leicester CityLeicester26164645271852
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd25147453322149
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
8Aston Villa24123938261239
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs24106837271036
10Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2697102733-634
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2532201541-2611

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!