On Wednesday, we have a huge Champions League clash in West London. The current champions Chelsea will welcome Real Madrid and La Liga leaders to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea and their fans have had a tough time of it lately, but they can get back on track with a Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid.
After the international break, the Blues were overwhelmingly upset by their west London counterparts at Stamford Bridge. Christian Eriksen was among the goal scorers, as Thomas Tuchel’s side fell in humiliating, uncharacteristic style after initially leading through Antonio Rudiger.
Chelsea must quickly recover from their first defeat to Brentford in 1939. This was even though they did not display the same admirable on-pitch form as before the club’s takeover.
After defeating Lille in the previous 16, Tuchel wants his team to retain their European crown. However, they will be facing a tough quarter-final match against the 13-time continental champions.
Madrid beat Celta Vigo to win their El Clasico defeat by Barcelona on Saturday. Karim Benzema scored two penalties in that game. Los Blancos are now 12 points ahead in the LaLiga title race, and only eight matches are remaining.
After he was negative for Covid-19, the visitors will have Carlo Ancelotti as their manager. This is after the incredible victory over Paris Saint-Germain that saw them overcome a 2-0 deficit by a remarkable 17-minute Benzema triple.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid team news
Chelsea will likely have a nearly fit squad tonight with Ben Chilwell (knee), the only long-term absentee.
Reece James has returned to the bench after his latest setback against Brentford. Christian Pulisic, who missed the weekend due to jetlag following his return from USA duty, should be in contention.
Callum Hudson Odoi may remain out with Achilles or back problems, however.
Madrid will be buoyed by the return of Ancelotti senior tonight at the dugout, with assistant Davide taking over at Celta Vigo.
Luka Jovic (ankle), and Isco (back), are out. Eden Hazard, however, is denied a reunion after more ankle surgery.
Chelsea is the favorite on the night, as they would expect to be playing at West London’s home. However, it has been a difficult month for Champions League holders. The war in Ukraine put pressure on their owner, and the sanctions forced them to sell the club.
This led to a difficult situation in which fans without season tickets were not allowed to enter the game. We are now blessed with a full house for Wednesday.
Although a shock defeat to Brentford, relegation struggling players on Saturday didn’t calm the fears of the fans, this Chelsea is often at their best when they are up against the wall.
Real Madrid’s 4-0 loss to Barcelona in El Clasico was a cause for concern. There are still doubts about this team’s ability to go far. The team still feels like they are in transition, with an aging midfield that will need to be replaced quickly.
Chelsea swept past a weak Lille team while Real Madrid defeated another French side, the Ligue 1 leaders PSG aggregate. While a lot was made of the PSG and Mauricio pochettino choke job, it is important to remember that the Parisians were the stronger side for approximately 150 minutes.
Real was sometimes a team that looked old, but their experience ultimately helped them to the end. You’ll remember Chelsea’s Champions League success last season and know that Thomas Tuchel will set his team up to keep the game tight and not lose in the first leg.
They should play three back with two wings again, which Tuchel left in place of a flat back four after the Brentford defeat. This is the only thing we know about Tuchel’s lineup. There are still questions over who will take the attacking spots, and Kai Havertz could be starting in the middle. Christian “LeBron James” of Soccer will likely start on the bench.
Real Madrid’s midfield is still a concern to me. Although Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Luka Mount are icons, they’re less mobile than they used to be. They could be very vulnerable against a Mason Mount and N’Golo Kane-filled midfield.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid prediction
History suggests that Tuchel will expect a prompt response from his Chelsea players.
The shock 5-2 defeat by West Brom was their worst loss of the season. However, the Blues returned firing and won the Champions League. They also reached the FA Cup final.
Although the German is skilled at getting a response, any repeat of Saturday’s defensive horror show will be severely punished by Benzema and Co.
Both teams showed their defensive skills during the group stage, with Chelsea conceding only four goals while Real Madrid gave up three.
It’s worth betting on under 2.5 goals, given the nature of the game and the possibility that Thomas Tuchel will keep it tight against Real Madrid.
Prediction: More than 2.5 goals