Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel will have to ensure Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech and Jorginho all keep themselves on the straight and narrow ahead of Tuesday evening’s Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid.
The quartet are all walking a suspension tightrope, being just one yellow card away from being suspended for the second-leg with the Spanish giants at Stamford Bridge next month.
All four players, who have travelled to Bucharest for the clash with the La Liga giants, have been booked twice in this season’s competition, meaning they are now just one yellow card away from facing a ban.
UEFA rules state that three yellow cards in the competition equal a one-game suspension, meaning if any of them were to be booked against Diego Simeone’s side they would be forced to sit-out the second-leg in west London.
Those four, though they are at immediate risk of facing a potential ban, are not alone within the Blues squad of facing a suspension.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic have all picked up one yellow card each in the Champions League this season, meaning they would face a one-game ban if they were to pick up two yellow cards in the round of 16 tie.
Fortunately for Tuchel and those in danger of running the risk of facing a ban, the cards system is reset following the last-16 stage, meaning should Chelsea get past Atletico over the two legs and progress to the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since 2014, those in question will be stripped of the yellow cards they have picked up earlier on in the competition and be given a clean bill of health.
In the event of any of those players picking up a red card, or indeed anyone else within the Chelsea squad, they would face the usual sanctions of a ban, even if the Blues do progress to the last-eight of the competition.
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The Blues will be hoping to pick up where they left off in the Champions League against Atletico, as they successfully navigated the group stage without suffering the disappointment of a defeat, winning four and drawing two of their six group games.
Atletico, meanwhile, won just two of their group games, drawing three and losing one, which was a 4-0 hammering at the hands of current holders Bayern Munich, who knocked Chelsea out of the competition at this stage last term.