The latest biggest game this season!
Chelsea take on Real Madrid for the 2nd Leg of the Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. The game is level on 1-1 with Chelsea having an away goal advantage at the moment. Real Madrid have to score at Stamford Bridge to stand any chance of reaching the final. Real Madrid won 2-0 at the weekend in La Liga so they come into this game with good momentum. The 1st leg was saw a mixed performance by them with the 1st half that saw them get dominated while the 2nd half was even on both sides. The greatest source of motivation for this Real Madrid side is what they have accomplished in the competition over the last 5-6 years and the experience they have.
Chelsea go into this game having won 2-0 against Fulham at the weekend. It was a professional performance that was needed between two heavy duty games not that they Fulham game was any less important. Like Tuchel said in the press conference pre match Chelsea will have to forget about the 1st leg result. We need to go into this game thinking it’s a one off and a win is the only way through to the final. If we rely on the first leg advantage then it can cause us to get complacent in this game. As always under Tuchel the key will be to take our chances up front. If there is one area to improve from in the 1st leg it is to finish our chances. We cut open Madrid at will in the first 45 minutes last week but failed to find the final pass or shot. A solid performance against Fulham should help that.
Chelsea Team Preview
Tuchel said that Kovacic will be out of the squad for the game. Rudiger is available and should be able to play with a mask. I expect Mendy to start in goal with Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger making up the back 3. Azpilicueta and Chilwell should return as the wing backs with Kante and Jorginho starting in midfield. Mount and Pulisic should start this game but it’s anyone’s guess who starts up front. Werner caused a ton of problems for Madrid in the first leg but Havertz was clinical and great against Fulham. With City at the weekend I think Havertz could start up front. Werner, Ziyech, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, and Tammy are all players available from the bench for Tuchel with the likes of Reece James and Zouma. With 5 subs there is plenty of scope for changes to be made as well. Mount, Pulisic, and Havertz worked wonders against Palace and they could work more against Madrid even if it is another level entirely.
Real Madrid Team Preview
Real Madrid and Zidane will be without Carvajal and Varane who are injured for the game. Ramos, and Mendy are back though while Marcelo was also able to travel. Courtois will most likely start in goal with a back four of Odriozola, Ramos, Militao, and Marcelo. Mendy could start but I don’t think he will be risked from the start. The midfield 3 of Casemiro, Kroos, and Modric will be ever present while up front I think Hazard, and Vinicius will flank Benzema. It’s a stronger team than the one we faced in the 1st leg and one with bucket loads of experience. Hazard looks fresh and is seeking a revival while Benzema is the big threat up front. Vinicius was quite in Madrid but is always a danger. The quality of the midfield is known to the whole world while Ramos will be key at the back and for the whole team especially from set pieces. I think Madrid will stick with the 4-3-3 they had in the 2nd half as opposed to the weird 3-5-2 they deployed initially.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s one of the big ones but perhaps it’s the biggest one yet for this Chelsea team. We will have to work hard like we have done under Tuchel, run for 90+ minutes with our lives stay solid at the back and we have to take our chances in front of goal. We can be confident and take motivation from our results in previous fixtures under Tuchel and while it won’t be easy we know that it is more than possible to get the job done. COME ON CHELSEA!!!