- Chelsea play host to Real Madrid in the return leg of their Champions League quarter-final matchup and must go against the odds to turn around a two-goal deficit.
- The home side will be without Kalidou Koulibaly and Ben Chilwell for the clash at Stamford Bridge, whilst the visitors welcome Toni Kroos and Vinicius Jr. back to the squad to help see off the tie.
- The Blues must improve upon their torrid form if they are to secure a miraculous comeback here, having failed to win any of their last six matches in all competitions.
Thiago Silva made his return as part of a three-man Chelsea defence in the first leg in Madrid but he was unable to stop the Blues from suffering a 2-0 defeat. The Brazilian wasn’t a part of the squad for the most recent match against Brighton & Hove Albion but has been in training ahead of the second leg and will likely start.
The whole squad was present at Chelsea’s open training session at Cobham ahead of their second leg clash bar from defender Koulibaly. He has been dealing with a hamstring issue of late and is out for the return leg.
Chilwell will also miss out after receiving a straight red card in the first fixture. However, Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have returned to training after missing the Brighton match due to injury.
As for the visitors, Real Madrid are expected to only have left-back Ferland Mendy unavailable who is out due to a calf injury. Both Kroos and Vinicius Jr. were absent at the weekend but they are in the squad for the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Carlo Ancelotti will choose between Eduardo Camavinga and Nacho Fernandez at left-back.
Champions League Form
It was a fairly comfortable victory for Real Madrid in their home leg of the tie. Ancelotti was able to guide his side to a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio. Life was made even more difficult for the Blues since Chilwell received a red card around the hour mark and chances of Chelsea progressing appear slim.
The first leg advantage also signals back-to-back clean sheets for Los Blancos in Europe this season for the first time since the opening two group matches back in September. Their 1-0 win over Liverpool in the round of 16 was their first clean sheet in the competition since matchday two when they defeated RB Leipzig 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Chelsea perhaps rather fortunately progressed past Borussia Dortmund in the last 16. It wasn’t as though their performances weren’t up to scratch but rather the German outfit were hit with a number of injuries that limited their firepower.
However, it looks as though Frank Lampard will be unable to overcome giants Real Madrid in the last eight. The Spanish side continue to dominate European competition, despite falling short in La Liga this term, and it would take something special if they are able to come back from two goals down in West London here.
UCL 22/23 Key Stats:
Goals For: Chelsea 12, Real Madrid 23
Goals Against: Chelsea 7, Real Madrid 8
Both Teams To Score %: Chelsea 33%, Real Madrid 56%
Over 2.5 Goals %: Chelsea 33%, Real Madrid 56%
Despite it looking extremely unlikely that Chelsea will be able to turn this tie around, they did almost defeat Real Madrid last season at the same stage after heading into the second leg two goals down.
After suffering a 3-1 loss at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, the Blues did go on to take a three-goal lead in the return leg, despite eventually conceding two goals en route to exiting the competition. Nevertheless, it may give them some hope that they can turn the tie on its head this time around.
The Blues’ last win at home to Real did come with a 2-0 scoreline and that is all they need to level the scores in this matchup. However, they will have to do it without Thomas Tuchel who was able to go on and win the competition with the club that same season in 2021.
It is full steam ahead for Real Madrid in Europe this term with the La Liga title all but out of reach. They did manage to return to winning ways in the league at the weekend with a 2-0 away win against Cadiz but Ancelotti’s men still remain 11 points behind Barcelona with just nine games to go.
Asensio was able to get on the scoresheet at the weekend too, making it back-to-back games with a goal and he could be pushing for a place in the starting line-up. Los Blancos will also need to watch out for their cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid who are just two points behind them in third.
As for Chelsea, they are in true relegation form. It has been a complete disaster this season and they have picked up just three wins in the Premier League since the turn of the year, losing six games in the process. They are also without a win in their last five in league play and have added just two points to their tally since their 3-1 win away to Leicester City last month.
There has to be concerns structurally too since they allowed a behemoth 26 shots against Brighton during their most recent 2-1 home defeat and they managed just eight themselves. It is worrying times for the Blue part of West London. Surely relegation is out of the question though?
Prediction & Suggested Bets
Chelsea 0-1 Real Madrid @ 15/2 The hosts should raise their game against Real Madrid but the hope will largely be that they avoid too much of a mauling. The return of Thiago Silva should help but the visitors will likely coast through to the final four without breaking much of a sweat to continue their fantastic showing in the Champions League and reach their third consecutive semi-finals.
Vinicius Jr. To Have 2+ Shots On Target @ 15/8 The Brazilian starlet should be eager for this one after missing the Cadiz match at the weekend. The away side could have plenty of opportunities on the break since Chelsea need to come out and attack to try and get back into the game so that will leave plenty of space for Vinicius Jr. to capitalise. He also managed two shots on target in the first leg.
Marco Asensio To Score or Assist @ 13/10 The Spaniard has been in good form of late and has a decent record in the Champions League so far this term, contributing to four goals in just nine games. He also has four goal involvements in his last five games for Los Blancos.
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