Chelsea vs. Real Madrid semi-final second leg preview
Chelsea vs. Real Madrid – Stamford Bridge – Wednesday, 5 May 2021 – 20:00 BST
A place for Chelsea in the finals of the 2020-21 Champions League finals looks to be on the cards when they face Real Madrid in the second leg of the semi-finals at Stamford Bridge on the May 5th.
Chelsea made an authoritative beginning to their first leg, going ahead through Christian Pulisic in the 15th only to be cancelled out by a brilliant volley from Karim Benzema on 29 minutes. The Blues, of course had the better of the chances of the game and will rue their missed opportunities away in Spain.
Thomas Tuchel’s men continued their good run on the domestic front, beating Fulham 2-0 on Saturday and coming within 2 points of 3rd placed Leicester City on the Premier League points table. Real Madrid, too, had a win to show in their La Liga campaign – a 2-0 victory over Osasuna and finishing on the 2nd spot with 74 points from 34 games.
Chelsea form across all competitions: W/L/D/W/D/W
Real Madrid form across all competitions: W/D/D/W/D/W
For Chelsea, Mateo Kovacic is likely to remain sidelined with an injury sustained during training, but Antonio Rudiger should be back after he missed Saturday’s win over Fulham owing a knock picked up in the first leg. Mason Mount was forced off late in the game against Fulham but is most likely to start on Wednesday night.
For Los Blancos, Eden Hazard, who started against Osasuna is likely to do the same on May 5th in an upfront role. Sergio Ramos could return from injury but whether Zidane will start with him remains a doubt.
Chelsea probable starting XI: Mendy (goal); Christensen, Thiago Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kanté, Chilwell; Pulišić, Werner, Mount
Real Madrid probable starting XI: Courtois (goal); Nacho, Varane, Éder Militão, Mendy; Casemiro, Modrić, Kroos; Hazard, Benzema, Vinícius Júnior
The away goal in Spain gives the home team a slight advantage going into the second leg, especially with the kind of tight defense the Blues have shown under Tuchel. The game could start as a cagey affair with the 13-time champions looking for goals as the game progresses. This could open up the game and leave spaces for the speedy Timo Werner and Pulisic to exploit.
The man to watch out for Real will of course be their prime scorer, Benzema, who could be the architect behind a possible passage for the La Liga giants to the finals. But Chelsea look the favourites to make it to the finals as the bookmakers odds would suggest.
Chelsea to qualify: 4/7
Real Madrid: 5/4
Correct score odds
Chelsea 1-0: 11/2 (predicted scoreline)
Chelsea 2-1: 17/2 (probable scoreline)
Chelsea 2-0: 9/1
Real Madrid 2-1: 11/1
Real Madrid 1-0: 15/2
Draw 2-2: 16/1
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