Chelsea faces Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday night, with the daunting task of beating the defending European champions by three goals.
Losing to the European champions in their stadium is nothing to be ashamed of, and Chelsea’s interim manager Frank Lampard could take some positives from his team’s valiant efforts.
However, their performance in the recent Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion left much to be desired. The under-performing Blues were outplayed by their opponents, who had 70% of possession at one stage. Lampard conceded that his team were fortunate to escape with a 2-1 scoreline, and the result could have been much worse.
Chelsea’s current run of six successive winless matches is a cause for concern, especially considering their last victory was over Leicester City under Graham Potter.
While they did manage to reverse a first-leg deficit against Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge to progress to the last eight, their recent form has been inconsistent.
Chelsea Form (All Competitions): L D L L L
Real Madrid’s winger, Asensio, has been impacting in recent matches and could be on his way to earning a contract renewal. He scored a crucial goal against Chelsea and followed it up with another telling contribution in Real Madrid’s match against Cadiz.
Real Madrid’s win against Cadiz helped them close the gap to Barcelona to 11 points after La Blaugrana only managed a draw against Getafe.
With the season entering its final stages, Carlo Ancelotti’s men will be looking to prioritize their continental campaigns as they aim for further glory on the European stage.
Real Madrid Form (All Competitions): W W L W W
Ben Chilwell was sent off with a straight red card for a last-man foul on Rodrygo, which forced Chelsea to navigate the final half-hour of the game with 10 men. Chilwell will serve his suspension on Tuesday.
Chelsea will also be without Kalidou Koulibaly, who suffered a hamstring injury at the Bernabeu and will be out for a “matter of weeks”.
Armando Broja is also sidelined due to a knee injury. In addition, Kai Havertz, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Carney Chukwuemeka will need to be assessed over the next 48 hours due to various knocks and injuries.
Real Madrid’s recent match was not without its injury concerns. Vinicius Junior and Toni Kroos were sidelined due to muscular overload, while Ferland Mendy was out with a calf injury.
However, Kroos and Vinicius are expected to be available for their upcoming fixtures after being rested as a precautionary measure.
Chelsea’s expected starting lineup:
Kepa; James, Fofana, Silva, Cucurella; E. Fernandez, Kante, Kovacic; Mudryk, Havertz, Felix
Real Madrid’s expected starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Head to Head
Real Madrid and Chelsea have had limited encounters over the years, having faced each other only eight times.
Out of these eight matches, Real Madrid has managed to win twice, losing four times and drawing the remaining two matches against the Blues since 1971.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Tuesday, April 18
Time: 07:00 pm, UTC
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London
It’s expected that a near full-strength Real Madrid team, with many key players having been well-rested, will advance to the final four and potentially dash the Blues’ hopes of ending their difficult season on a high note in Europe.