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Real Madrid vs. Chelsea Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg Preview

It’s the big one part 1!

Chelsea travel to Madrid to play Real Madrid at their B stadium on Tuesday night in the 1st leg of the Champions League Semi-Final. Real Madrid started the season poorly but then ever since the new year they have risen back up. They were outside the title race in La Liga but they have come back while they weren’t favourites for the Champions League but they are still well within it. Real Madrid have only scored 3 goal in their last 4 games and have drawn 3 of those 0-0. Regardless of domestic form, Zidane comes alive in the Champions League and their team is one filled with experience in the competition. They beat Atalanta and Liverpool in the last two rounds and neither team was a real threat. 

Chelsea go into this game having beaten West Ham in the league. It was a massive 3 points in the race for top four and now we pivot into the Champions League. Our Champions League campaign under Tuchel so far has been about top notch game management. Our defence has been the bedrock to our success against Atletico and Porto and then we manage to get an away goal or two to give us the advantage. I can’t see Chelsea doing anything different against a very experienced Madrid side. I believe Chelsea will look to control possession and create chances in the open spaces. Similar to any game recently we will have to be clinical with our chances. We have only scored more than 2 goals in one game under Tuchel so it’s not like our forwards are firing in front of goal even though we are playing well. Like Tuchel and Pulisic said pre match Real Madrid are a top team but we are Chelsea and no one wants to play against us either. 

Chelsea Team Preview

The only player out of the squad is Kovacic who is still recovering. Mendy will be in goal with Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger as the back 3. I wouldn’t be surprised if Christensen stars in place of Azpilicueta but I think Tuchel will want the captain on the pitch. Reece James and Ben Chilwell should start as the wing backs with Jorginho and Kante in midfield. Up front Mount is nailed on to start but the other two is anyones guess. I think Tuchel will stick with Havertz and Pulisic but Ziyech and Werner could start as well. Two pairs of players that have created partnerships of sorts in recent games. We have an extensive bench either way filled with many options. 

Real Madrid Team Preview

Real Madrid will be without Ramos and Mendy for this game but they have key players like Kroos, and one Eden Hazard back. Zidane likes his 4-3-3 formation with Courtois in goal another ex Chelsea player. Militao and Varane should make up the centre backs while Carvajal is also back with him and Nacho making up the full back positions. It’s a way better defence than the one they had against Liverpool. Their midfield is their crown jewel with Modric, Casemiro, and Kroos dominating Europe for years now. Their ability to control the game and dictate play is unrivalled. Up front Benzema is nailed on to start as the striker and is probably their most important player while Vinicius should also start on the wing. Benzema’s ability to drop deep and link up play while also being a lethal finisher has seen him reach new heights as he gets older. Vinicius has raw pace to burn. I think the other player to start will be Asensio. Hazard should feature from the bench but he is looking dangerous. Marcelo is another player back who is also ready for this game. 

Starting XI Prediction

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These are the type of games we football fans love. It’s going to be a big one for these Chelsea youngsters against a team which is filled with multiple Champions League winners. There is the narrative of Courtois who many Chelsea fans despise for the way he left the club and of Hazard who is idolised by almost everyone. I know Tuchel and team will be up for it and let’s see if we can take another step. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

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