Real Madrid vs Chelsea match preview and predictions for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Los Blancos begin their bid for a place in another UCL Final.
|Tuesday 27th April 2021
|21:00 (local time)
|Alfredo Di Stefano
|UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid vs Chelsea Preview
The Champions League reaches the last four stage this week. In what is widely perceived to be the weaker of the two Semi-Finals, Real Madrid entertain Chelsea in the Spanish capital. There was speculation this tie wouldn’t even go ahead this time last week when both clubs signed up to the controversial Super League but following the collapse of Florentino Perez’s masterplan, UEFA hasn’t followed through on threats to remove teams from their competitions.
That was never likely to happen and the two squads have now both had a few days to focus on the task at hand. It hasn’t been a great week on or off the pitch for Real Madrid. Recent draws against Getafe and Real Betis have done great damage to their league title hopes and their main focus will now be on this competition with Barcelona looking good to win LaLiga.
Madrid’s selection issues have been so great that it was always going to be difficult to maintain a challenge in both but Zinedine Zidane should be able to name something closer to his strongest XI here. Toni Kroos will return having missed the goalless weekend draw with Real Betis while Eden Hazard came off the bench in that game and is pushing for a start here against his former club.
That’s a very interesting subplot with the Belgian having produced precious little even when fit in the white shirts of Real Madrid, in complete contrast to his successful stint in the Premier League. This would be some time to come to the party but Real Madrid will have to work hard to create chances against a Chelsea side that has been impressive defensively since Thomas Tuchel took charge. The West London outfit come into this following three straight clean sheets including a Semi-Final victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup.
They are not without their flaws though and while they did cruise past Atletico Madrid in the last 16, Chelsea weren’t totally convincing in the last round against Porto, losing the 2nd Leg of a tie which was played in Seville. That was their first defeat in this season’s competition and like Real Madrid, they will sense this is a favourable draw and a chance to reach an unexpected European Final.
Head to Head
- The sides haven’t met competitively since the 1998 UEFA Super Cup – won 1-0 by Chelsea.
- The only other meetings came in the 1971 Cup Winners’ Cup Final.
- Chelsea won 2-1 in the replay after a 1-1 draw in the original match.
Fede Valverde has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t feature but Real Madrid’s selection issues have eased. Sergio Ramos is in contention but may not be risked until the 2nd Leg.
Mateo Kovacic is expected to be Chelsea’s only absentee.
Predicted Real Madrid Starting Lineup:
Courtois – Nacho, Varane, Militao, Carvajal – Kroos, Casemiro, Modric – Vini, Benzema, Asensio (4-3-3)
Predicted Chelsea Starting Lineup:
Mendy – Rudiger, Silva, Azpilicueta – Chilwell, Jorginho, Kante, James – Mount, Ziyech – Werner (3-4-2-1)
Real Madrid vs Chelsea Predictions
Score Prediction: Real Madrid 1-0 Chelsea
This may well be a cagier affair than Real Madrid’s 1st Leg against Liverpool was. Chelsea have shown they are a tough side to break down but with Madrid able to field their first choice midfield trio, you sense they may just have the edge on the night and could take a slender advantage to London next week.
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