Chelsea are aiming to pull off a Champions League miracle when they host defending champions Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, 18 April. The Blues are undergoing a really poor run of form, having lost all their three games under interim manager Frank Lampard.
That includes the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals to Madrid, a rather poor 2-0 defeat last week. The game is, although, not technically out of their reach so far. While not many fans (including their own) will fancy Chelsea to pull off a comeback, nothing is impossible in football.
The Blues have a talented squad who are in desperate need of proper guidance. If Lampard can provide them with that and get them fully motivated, Chelsea can catch Madrid off-guard and make for a thrilling, high-intensity game.
They will, however, need to do something extraordinary for that to happen. Real are in cruise control and benefits from their best players hitting their peak at the right time. Logically, Madrid should get the job done at Stamford Bridge – but you can never say never in football.
Last 5 Games
Real Madrid clearly holds the advantage in recent form, having defeated Chelsea last week and also picking up a huge win over FC Barcelona at Camp Nou to knock them out of the Copa Del Rey recently.
Loss: 2-1 vs Brighton
Loss: 2-0 vs Real Madrid
Loss: 1-0 vs Wolves
Draw: 0-0 vs Liverpool
Loss: 2-0 vs Aston Villa
Win: 2-0 vs Cadiz
Win: 2-0 vs Real Madrid
Loss: 3-2 vs Villarreal
Win: 4-0 vs Barcelona
Win: 6-0 vs Real Valladolid
Chelsea have their own injury and suspension issues that further plague them down for such an important game. Ben Chilwell got sent off in the first leg, which means he will be missing this game as a result.
Kalidou Koulibaly is out after sustaining an injury at the Santiago Bernabeu. Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also major doubts because of injury issues.
Real Madrid however, can at least boast of a clean bill of health for this game. Ferland Mendy remains their only absentee due to a knee injury issue that has plagued him in recent months.
Vinicius Jr missed the Cadiz clash in La Liga at the weekend, but should be back in action in this game.
Chelsea: Kepa, James, Fofana, Silva, Cucurella, Kante, Enzo, Kovacic, Felix, Mudryk, Sterling
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Kroos, Modric, Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Benzema
Despite their loss at the Santiago Bernabeu last week, Chelsea still have a better head-to-head record against Real Madrid.
The Blues have won four of the eight games these two teams have played against each other in their history.
The recent most game between these two was, of course, last week when Real Madrid overwhelmed Chelsea with a comfortable 2-0 win – in which Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio got in the scoresheet.
Where the game will be decided
At this point of this tie, it’s rather obvious that Chelsea will be the ones pouring in numbers on the attack and Real Madrid will be satisfied with soaking up pressure and troubling them in the counter-attack.
The Blues really have nothing to lose anymore and need to attack to even have a chance at this miraculous comeback. They’re likely to go with a more attack-minded system, encouraging the defenders to play higher up than usual too.
As a result, this tie should be decided by those who can handle the transitions better. Both sides will have chances on counter-attacks or fast breaks, some probably more than the others. It’s about which of the forward players is more clinical in finishing off their chances.
If recent form is any proof, Madrid definitely win that debate. Benzema and Vinicius are in amazing form, hardly needing any second chances to score amazing goals. Chelsea’s forwards need to prove their worth and put the peddle to the mettle on the day.
If the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk, or Joao Felix can put their finishing skills to use, then this could turn into a very entertaining second-leg clash that can be a joy to watch for fans of all kinds.
We back Real Madrid to grind through a win at Stamford Bridge and get the job done. They will probably face a greater fight from the Chelsea side from the last week, with the Blues desperate to give their home fans some joy.
However, considering the parallel in forms and Madrid’s impressive run of form – there is unlikely to be any miracle at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea could get on the scoresheet but are going to be ousted in the end.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Real Madrid
Chelsea to win: 9/5
Real Madrid to win: 29/20
Real Madrid are the bookmakers’ favorite to win the clash with 29/20 betting odds. This means if one was to bet $1 on them to win the game, they’d get a return of $2.45 on that result – with a profit of $1.45.
Chelsea have been given difficult odds of 9/5. That means if the Blues win and one is to bet $1 on that result, they’d get a return of $2.80 – with a profit of $1.80.
*By BetUS At the time of writing
The game will kick off at 20:00 GMT and the referee will be Daniele Orsato.