Both sides have it all to play for when they do battle in London come Wednesday, and while Real must score or they are out, Chelsea have the vital ‘away goal’ edge.
Champions League 2020/2021 campaign
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Chelsea will resume their quest for a first Champions League final appearance since they lifted the title in 2012, and are in the driving seat after holding their opposition to that 1-1 draw in Madrid.
Christian Pulisic led the charge, becoming the youngest Chelsea player to score in the semi-final of this competition, and the first American to do so at this stage. With Chelsea attackers seemingly now getting back to their best after Kai Havertz struck twice to see off Fulham last weekend, the Blues are hitting the rudest of form and will give this one a real go yet.
Karim Benzema’s peerless display of clinical marksmanship rescued the draw in the first leg for a Real Madrid side very much disjointed at the rear, and but for Chelsea’s profligacy in front of goal, the Galácticos perhaps might have been facing up to a bigger deficit.
They beat Osasuna 2-0 last time out, but the fact Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is the only active manager to have faced Real on five or more occasions in this competition without tasting defeat (W1, D4) does not bode well for them.
Yet, the Spanish side still have that psychological edge, having progressed from 11 of their previous 12 two-legged knockout ties in the UCL undertaken during Zinedine Zidane’s managerial reign.
Antonio Rudiger sat out the 2-0 win over Fulham last time, and Tuchel will only hope he is fit for this game.
Mateo Kovacic however is ruled out entirely.
Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal are surely not available for selection by Zidane on account of injuries.
Ferland Mendy and Sergio Ramos adds to the Frenchman’s injury worries, with both players not likely to be 100% for the trip to London.
Chelsea last five UCL games: WWWLD
Real Madrid last five UCL games: WWWDD
Real Madrid have conceded just thrice in their last eight away games in all competitions, and are unbeaten on the road in nine.
Chelsea are unbeaten in ten of their last eleven Champions League games.
Chelsea’s draw in Madrid have seen them heralded as the outright favourites to progress from here, but it really should be that they do not belittle this Real side who possess the quality of hurting an unsuspecting opposition yet.
Real are seasoned enough to know what it takes at this stage of the competition, and so does Zidane, with an old head like Benzema leading the lines for them. He is 15/8 to score anytime, and we will snap him up to do so no matter what plays out at Stamford Bridge.
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