Real Madrid has never beaten Chelsea in a European competition. Soccer superstition on Tuchel’s side
Eriksen and Brentford took out the Londoners at Stamford Bridge in an APL match. The 1-4 score stunned Tuchel, he did not expect a modest opponent to do such a thing to his defense. Played in four defenders, but today the veterans can dilute James and return to the 3-4-2-1, this scheme the team understands better. It’s possible that Tuchel is cheating that he didn’t try to adjust to Ancelotti’s model, because his experiment failed.
Before the defeat, the Aristocrats, who are temporarily banned from using their fortune, had six consecutive wins in different tournaments. They also lost only in the penalty shootout to Liverpool, so the penultimate defeat in the main time they met at the beginning of the year, away against Manchester City. Don’t let the weekend adventures in the APL embarrass you, Chelsea is a stubborn and successful team that knows its worth.
With the lightning-fast Chillwell at the base, the left wing would be more fun. But Ben is injured. Now Marco Alonso will face the club with which several generations of his family are associated. We’ll see how Ancelotti plans the game through his right flank, but that edge will be important. Ziesch and Mount can switch places, Carvajal is not twenty years old, nor is Modric. It will be interesting to see how Tuchel lines up his soccer against them.
Werner (3 goals) and Pulisic (2) scored the most for Chelsea in the Champions League, but they might not be on the field today. Havertz can play the false nine in the center of the attack, and the Croatian American is hardly better suited for the basics than Mount or Ziesch. But Tuchel has a choice in attack, because don’t forget the elephant in the china shop – Lukaku has lost his place in the lineup, but Romelu’s class allows him to step up at the crucial moment.
Jorginho and Kante are the key Chelsea players for tonight’s match. Vinicius and Benzema should not be allowed in the back. That’s where Tuchel’s older defenders Rüdiger, Silva and Aspilicueta play (unless Christiansen appears as the third center back). Consequently, the quality of high pressing from Chelsea’s attacking group, the Italian and the Frenchman will determine a lot in this game. “Chelsea is not as good at controlling the ball as PSG, and Real Madrid is tricky – they can play cautiously away.
Chelsea’s tentative 3-4-2-1 lineup: Mendy – Aspilicueta (Christensen), Silva, Rüdiger – James (Aspilicueta), Kante, Jorginho, Aloson – Mount, Ziesch – Haverz (Werner).
About Real Madrid
Real Madrid has lost only one match in the last seven, but that was a 0-4 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu by Barcelona. Not Brentford, of course, but not a bad opponent. Although the progress of Xavi’s team did not allow the Catalans to significantly reduce the distance to Real Madrid in La Liga – a maximum of nine points – the result struck a chord with the Madrid side.
The game against Celta was nervous, with moments at Courtois’ goal. Benzema kicked three penalties (twice accurately). Once again, Ancelotti could be reproached for deliberately refusing to look for new moves, as he used a 4-3-3 formation without the slightest innovation or change. How effectively is the “old guard” ready for a difficult game against the evil Chelsea? The answer awaits on Wednesday night to Thursday.
The arrhythmics in the game of Real – remember the huge difference between them in Paris and Madrid in the return game against PSG, can be explained, for starters, by the age of the team. Then the peculiarities of the head coach. Also the cup nature of Madrid, which has allowed so many times to reach the decisive stages of the European Cup. Sometimes Real Madrid looks incredibly weak, but that is its peculiarity, not its eternal characteristic.
Karim Benzema is one of the best players in the world right now. The experienced Frenchman has scored 8 goals and made 1 assist in the Champions League (played 7 games), and has also added 24 goals and 11 assists in 26 La Liga games. The forward’s incredible form, with ten accurate shots and four correct assists in the last six games, gives Real Madrid hope that Mendy’s defense will miss either Karim or one of the men he assists.
Everyone knows Real Madrid’s scheme, the changes in the lineup only concern the right flank – the choice between Vazquez and Carvajal, between Asensio and Rodrigo. There could be substitutes like Valverde or Camavanga, and then it all depends on the strategy chosen. They can also sit in defense with the whole squad, but it is important not to play as well as against Barcelona. Not everything depends on Chelsea’s pace today, but a lot. So does the form of Courtois, a former Londoner.
The tentative Real Madrid squad (4-3-3): Courtois – Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy – Modric, Casemiro, Kroos – Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.
About the clash
At no time in history has Real Madrid been beaten by Chelsea in European Cups. In 1971 they met in the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup. The first game was a 1-1 draw in Greece and the regulations at the time dictated a replay. A couple of days later, in the return leg, Chelsea upset a prominent opponent – the English scored twice in the first half, and after the break Real answered with just one goal.
Decades later, there was a UEFA Super Cup final in which Chelsea scored the only goal in Monte Carlo – at the end of the game Gustavo Poyet allowed the international team of Vialli, with his Italian accent and the only Englishman on the pitch, captain Denis Wise, to upset Guus Hiddink and the star cast of Real Madrid with Hierro, Roberto Carlos, Zedorf, Redondo, Raul and Mijatovic.
Last year, Chelsea and Real Madrid played their way to the Champions League final. The details of those matches are long forgotten. Kanté showed his mettle. It was a 1-1 draw in Madrid, and in the return leg in London, Tuchel found a solution for Real. It is no coincidence that he has been widely welcomed to another big club. A year ago, Chelsea gave the ball away completely at home. And although the Spaniards had their shots, Mendy was able to handle them. But Courtois missed out on goals from Werner and Mount. In that game, Chelsea successfully rehearsed their tactics for the final against Manchester City.