Chelsea FC is set to lead the league after winning three games to bounce back to winning ways as they saw off Sheffield United at Bramall Lane ahead of their clash with the La Liga giant.
LaLiga leaders Atletico are desperate to play the February 23 game on home soil in the Wanda Metropolitano.
But Spanish government restrictions on travel from the UK have still to be lifted.
They are expected to be extended beyond the current deadline of February 16, meaning the Spanish side will have to find an alternative location.
And the preferred option is understood to be Bucharest’s Arena Nationala, the venue where Diego Simeone’s side beat Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao to win the Europa League in 2012.
It means that all three English sides are now likely to play their Champions League last 16 away ties on neutral soil while retaining home advantage for the second leg.
Elsewhere, police have raided an address in Nottinghamshire to arrest a 21-year-old man over allegations of sending online abuse to Chelsea.
The Prem giants alerted Metropolitan Police officers to the incidents during 2020.
And working alongside Nottinghamshire Police’s football unit, the Met arrested the man in Retford.
Confirming the arrest, the Met said officers were investigating ‘a number of hate crime messages over a number of months’ dating back to last year.
The man was interviewed under caution and released pending further investigations.
A Chelsea spokesman said: “We welcome today’s arrest which shows that hateful messages shared on social media do have consequences.
“We continue to work closely with the police to support their investigations on this important issue.”
Christian Pulisic missed Chelsea’s win over Sheffield United due to ‘family issues’, new Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed.
The USA international was surprisingly omitted from the matchday squad for the West Londoners’ visit to Bramall Lane.
Pulisic’s absence sparked fears he’d picked up another injury, concerns Tuchel dismissed after the Blues’ 2-1 win in Yorkshire.
The German said: “He has some family issues to solve. Family is always first.”
And finally, the Premier League has announced the latest round of Covid-19 testing yielded just TWO positives results – despite nearly 3,000 tests administered.
A whopping 2,930 tests were administered to players and staff members from all 20 clubs in the week of Monday, February 1 to Sunday, February 7.