Pat Nevin believes Atletico Madrid would not want to deal with Olivier Giroud again as he expects the striker to lead the line on Wednesday night.

Superb collective defensive diligence was crucial to their first-leg win in February as they managed to stop Atleti from having any shot on target in 90 minutes.

But they would not have won the game if it was not for a moment of individual brilliance from Giroud.

The 34-year-old scored the outrageous winning-goal, out of basically nothing.

Giroud kept his place in the team in the following game against Manchester United but, interestingly, has not featured since.

Tuchel opted for Kai Havertz as his new No.9 in the last two games, but according to Nevin, Giroud deserves to start for Chelsea tomorrow night.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“It will be very hard if not impossible for Thomas Tuchel to ignore the presence of Olivier Giroud,” the former Blues winger told the club’s official website.

“[Particularly] considering there are a multitude of things stacking up in the Frenchman’s favour.

“He has been well rested after warming the bench for the last three games.

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC  - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“At 34 he is far from being on his last legs, but you would expect him to be as fresh as anyone having had that little mini-break.

“He also has incredible experience at this level and every single manager will tell you that in the Champions League, in the knockout stages,

“I reckon I would like to see Olivier Giroud on the pitch tomorrow, almost as much as Atleti would like to see him sat on the sidelines.”

Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC  - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chronicle view

The fact that only Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland (10 goals) has had more goals than Giroud (six) in the Champions League so far should make it an easy decision for Tuchel.

While Atleti will likely have to be more aggressive to chase down the goal deficit, a Diego Simeone team will sit deep and defend with numbers.

You would not want to deploy Havertz or Timo Werner as a No.9 in that scenario.

Giroud, on the other hand, thrives in physical battles inside the box.

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