Chelsea managed to walk away from the first leg of the Champions League semi-final in Spain with a precious away goal so now the only thing they need to do to get to the finals, is to stop Real Madrid from scoring at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have been in fine form under their new manager Thomas Tuchel and they go into this intense second leg at the back of a solid 2-0 win over Fulham in the Premier League.
Chelsea are undefeated in 10 of their last 11 matches and the way they stopped Real Madrid from playing their peak football last week has given the Blues fans ample amounts of hope.
Thomas Tuchel has only one major injury doubt so the manager has the luxury of making rotations to his usual starting line up but we doubt if the Chelsea boss will want to tinker too much with the side which played such brilliant football last week in Spain. Chelsea also have a key league match vs Manchester City coming up next weekend so Tuchel might just have one eye on that game also, given their next season’s UCL hopes might be dependent on that match.
Chelsea team news vs Real Madrid:
Edouard Mendy will remain in goal with Thiago Silva and Christensen playing in a three-man defensive line.
Antonio Rudiger missed the Fulham game with a facial injury but the manager has more or less confirmed his participation on Wednesday.
‘For Toni, I think he will play with a mask,’ the manager told the press on Monday. ‘He trained on Saturday with a mask so it’s just about him getting used to it.’
Mateo Kovacic has been ruled from this second leg having failed to recover from his injury setback so once again Kante and Jorginho will have the task of stopping the Real Madrid midfield trio.
The manager is expected to pack up the midfield area which could see Mason Mount play a much deeper role than what he usually does in the league matches.
Ben Chilwell will keep his place from the weekend’s week but Reece James could have to move back to the bench as Tuchel will opt for the more experienced Azpilicueta as the right wing-back.
Kai Havertz scored a brace against Fulham on Saturday and many pundits think the manager should give the German one more start. But Christian Pulisic has been in fine form over the past couple of weeks and he also scored Chelsea’s crucial away goal vs Real Madrid in the first leg.
So the American international is likely to get the nod ahead of Havertz, alongside Timo Werner.
Chelsea’s predicted XI vs Real Madrid:
Predicted Starting Line-up: Edouard Mendy; Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Azpilicueta, Mason Mount; Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic.