Real Madrid host Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi finals at Alfredo di Stefano Stadium on Wednesday at 12:30 am. Many Chelsea fans have been waiting for Eden Hazard to bloom with the La Liga giants and what impeccable timing that he recovers from his long spells of injuries to face his former club where he spent seven years and managed to get domestic and European success.
This fixture will be the first time the two teams will meet each other in a European competition since 1998, when they met in the Super Cup in Monaco. They did face each other during pre-season under Antonio Conte when Real Madrid managed to win 3-2, with Hazard scoring a brace against his current club.
Real Madrid vs Chelsea Preview
Tuchel might have bragging rights when it comes to their Head to Head record. The german is the only coach whom Zidane has faced at least thrice and not beaten. The Chelsea boss has beaten the Real Madrid boss once with three games ending all square, notably with his time at Borussia dortmund and Paris saint germain.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid Team news:
Chelsea’s form: W-D-W-L-W
Real Madrid’s form: D-W-D-D-W
Tuchel would go for an experienced backline, so Edouard Mendy should start at the goal, with César Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger. Since Real Madrid is facing a defensive crisis with Ferland Mendy out of the fixture it is possible Callum Hudson Odoi could start at right wing back to exploit that space pairing up with in form Ben Chilwell on the other wing.
At the same time Reece James could also be there to be more defensively solid against Real Madrid’s counter attacks. Kovacic is suffering from his hamstring injury so Jorginho and N’golo Kante would be on the team sheet. Mason Mount is probably the first name on the team list and could be supported by Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner
Injured: Mateo Kovacic
Real could also start with three at the back, given their injuries. Club Captain Sergio Ramos is out of the clash from Covid along with Federico Valverde. Former Chelsea player Thibaut Courtois would start at the back along with Raphael Varane, Militao and Nacho. Carvajal and Marcelo could deputise at wing backs. In the midfield we should see a trio of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Modric. Upfront top scorer Karim Benzema will start supported by Vinícius. We might see Hazard coming off the bench as he still could not be fit to play for ninety minutes.
Injured: Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vazquez, Federico Valverde, Ferland Mendy
Predicted Line-ups and Score:
Chelsea’s predicted starting lineup(3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Mount; Pulisic, Werner
Real Madrid’s predicted starting lineup(3-5-2): Courtois; Varane, Militao, Nacho; Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Carvajal; Junior, Benzema,
Chelsea 0-0 Real Madrid
Both teams have been in good form and have fortified on their respective domestic front. It would be a tough match and likely to end a draw 0-0.