Chelsea host Real Madrid at the Stamford Bridge for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday night.
The Blues are facing an unenviable task of trying to record a three-goal win over the reigning European champions.
Both teams renew hostilities at Stamford Bridge with Real Madrid having a 2-0 advantage from their Bernabeu clash, while Frank Lampard’s return has added nothing.
The shame will not be much on Chelsea if they lose to European champions in their own backyard and Lampard could have picked one of two from the first match.
Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio contributed to a predictable victory for those in white at the Spanish giants’ home.
The under-performing Chelsea were played off the park by Brighton & Hove Albion in Saturday’s Premier League clash were they lost 2-1.
Conor Gallagher’s deflected goal was later cancelled out by Danny Welbeck’s header and Julio Enciso’s rocket.
Brighton won the game 2-1 after suffering Chelsea with a 70-30 percent of possession and Lampard confirmed the blues would have been down more.
Chelsea are now winless in their last six matches since a 3-1 triumph over Leicester City under Graham Potter and Gallagher’s goal ended their four-game streak without a goal.
The Blues however turned around a first-leg deficit against Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge to progress to the last eight.
The West London side have now advanced in five of their last seven Champions League ties in which they have lost the first leg away from home.
Though they failed to win any of their last four Stamford Bridge games since seeing off BVB, historical omens could count for them if Lampard’s side can suddenly find their best shooting boots.
Asensio came up with another telling contribution in Los Blancos’ trip to Cadiz at the weekend, playing his way to a potential contract renewal.
Real Madrid’s win last weekend helped them reduce the points Barcelona are leading them with to just 10 points but they can close it up again when the meet Getafe on Sunday.
Real Madrid have progressed from 18 of their 19 Champions League knockout ties in which they have won the first leg by at least two clear goals.
If Madrid win Chelsea on Tuesday, it will be a new continental record, which have been bread and butter for the 14-time European champions.
Their last visit to the Stamford Bridge 12 months ago ended in a 1-3 triumph – avenging a 2-0 loss away to Chelsea in the 2020-21 semis.
Chelsea v Real Madrid Team News
The last time the two teams met, Chelsea was forced to finish the first leg with 10 men after Ben Chilwell was given a straight red card for a last-man foul on Rodrygo.
While Chilwell is on suspension, coach Lampard will have to recall Marc Cucurella at left-back.
Kalidou Koulibaly will not feature as he is out for a “matter of weeks” with the hamstring problem he picked up at the Bernabeu, joining others on the sidelines (Armando Broja, Kai Havertz, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Carney Chukwuemeka.)
Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante who were left out of the squad that played Brighton and Reece James, Joao Felix and Mateo Kovacic could face Madrid on Tuesday.
Carlo Ancelotti played other players in the weekend as Vinicius Junior and Toni Kroos both missing out with muscular overload alongside calf victim Ferland Mendy.
Mendy might no feature in Chelsea’s match but Kroos and Vinicius should be good to go after their precautionary absences.
Probable Line Up
Chelsea probable starting lineup:
- Kepa; James, Fofana, Silva, Cucurella; E. Fernandez, Kante, Kovacic; Mudryk, Havertz, Felix
Real Madrid probable starting lineup:
- Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Chelsea v Real Madrid Prediction
Chelsea might take leaf out of Liverpool’s book and create a boisterous Stamford Bridge atmosphere, although it may not work for the veteran coach Carlo Ancelotti and his team.
Football is a game of impossibilities as Lampard’s side could make a perfect return and shock Real Madrid.
A near full-strength Real Madrid with plenty of well-rested important stars could end the Blues’ hopes of finishing a troubled campaign with a trophy.
But you can never rule out the element of surprise – this brings us to the prediction we have for this match.
If things go so well for Lampard’s team against Real Madrid, they could win the match 3-0 and qualify for next stage.
However, all odds are on Madrid to win and they could win Chelsea 2-1 to send them packing out of the Champions League.