Chelsea host Real Madrid in the quest to reach their second Champions League final

Real Madrid travel to London with an away goal deficit having drawn the first leg 1-1 at home; Zidane will have a larger set of players to choose from following the return of Ramos, Mendy and Valverde.

Chelsea host Real Madrid at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in the Champions league semi-final second leg. The English club has an away goal advantage having drawn the first leg 1-1 at Di Stefano stadium last week. Real coach Zinedine Zidane will have a larger pool of players to choose from following the return of Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy and Federico Valverde. Thomas Tuchel will have most of the players available for selection except for midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

Chelsea are looking to make it into their third Champions League final after winning the title at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich in 2012 and losing to Manchester United in 2008. Christian Pulisic scored the crucial away goal for Chelsea in the first leg. Tuchel is looking to reach his second consecutive Champions League final after taking PSG to its maiden final eight months ago, where they lost to Bayern Munich.

N’Golo Kante has been the star performer for Chelsea of late, the French midfielder won the UEFA Man of the Match award in the first leg. His tireless running and closing down was crucial in stopping Real’s midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro from dictating the game in the first leg. Tuchel will rely on his team’s tireless running and speedy attackers to take Chelsea through.

Real Madrid are coming into the match on the back of a 2-0 win over Osasuna in the weekend. Eden Hazard’s return from injury in their last match was a boost for Real, who have been dealing with a lot of injury problems this season. Sergio Ramos has also returned to the squad after being injured in March. Zidane will have a tough decision to make, whether to start with their talisman Sergio Ramos at the center back or go with the in-form defensive pairing of Eder Militao and Nacho who have been doing a fine job of late.

Left-back Ferland Mendy is also back in the squad after missing the first leg with an injury along with Federico Valverde, who got the COVID-19 negative certificate. Notably, former Chelsea players Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois will be returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving for Madrid. Real’s defence has done a fine job in the absence of regulars, got a clean sheet against Liverpool in Anfield and and conceded just one goal in their previous six games.

Real need a positive result at London to go through and striker Karim Benzema will have a pivotal role to play. The Frenchman has scored six goals in the competition so far including the equaliser in the first leg. The 33-year old striker has been the go to man for Zidane.

The match at Stamford Bridge will be, experience of Real Madrid versus the youthful exuberance of Chelsea. The winner of the second semifinals will meet Manchester City at Istanbul on May 29th.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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