CHELSEA must scale a Real Madrid-style comeback against Los Blancos to reach the Champions League semi-finals.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side famously battled from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City to reach the 2022 final where they beat Liverpool.
And now the Blues will be out for revenge when they welcome Real to Stamford Bridge for the second leg.
Frank Lampard’s side lost 2-0 to Los Blancos in the first leg and were outplayed throughout as Ben Chilwell was sent off.
To make matters worse, Lampard has lost all three of his matches since taking over from Graham Potter as interim boss until the end of the season.
And Saturday’s defeat at home to Brighton was the worst preparation to welcome the 14-time European champions to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were outplayed once again by the Seagulls as Lampard was taunted and then owner Todd Boehly rowed with supporters before launching an hour-long rant in the dressing room.
Now they must somehow battle back and overturn the 2-0 deficit from Wednesday night in the Bernabeu, with goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio.
Chelsea have already come from behind to knock Borussia Dortmund out of the competition earlier this season.
But Real Madrid are a different proposition, and even if Chelsea manage to grab two goals – something not done since March 18 – it’ll be hard to keep Ancelotti‘s men from scoring themselves.
A win for Lampard’s men would rank as one of their greatest in the competition they’ve won twice, but it’ll be the tallest of orders at Stamford Bridge.
Real Madrid have progressed from 18 of their 19 Champions League ties after winning the first leg by two or more goals, failing only in 2003-04 against Monaco in the quarter-final.
And Chelsea’s only home Champions League defeat across the last two seasons was against Real Madrid in April 2022, winning seven and drawing two.
However, no away team has ever won two Champions League games at Stamford Bridge against the Blues.
Plus the Premier League side have progressed from five of their last seven Champions League ties when losing the first leg away from home, and done so in each of the last two when losing by two clear goals – against Napoli in 2011-12 and Paris Saint-Germain in 2013-14.
What is their form like?
Chalk and cheese.
Chelsea are winless in six dating back to a 3-1 win at Leicester on March 11.
They have lost four of their last five games – with Conor Gallagher’s fortunate deflected effort against Brighton their only goal in that time.
Real have not been faultless, losing 3-2 at home to Villarreal on April 8 but recorded a 4-0 victory over Barcelona to reach the Copa del Rey final before that and thumped Valladolid 6-0.
Los Blancos rested some key players but still ran out 2-0 winners in a comfortable clash at Cadiz on Saturday, registering a whopping 35 shots.
What is the team news and any injuries to worry about?
Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell will miss the game through suspension after being sent off in the first leg at the Bernabeu.
Kalidou Koulibaly was hauled off in the second half with a hamstring injury and will be on the sidelines for a few weeks.
Joao Felix should be back in the side after suffering a minor knee injury, coming on from the bench against Brighton at the weekend.
Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante were rested against the Seagulls but should both start while Kai Havertz is racing to be fit.
Vinicius Jr and Toni Kroos missed their weekend win over Cadiz, but they should be back for the trip to West London while Dani Carvajal and David Alaba were unused subs.
That means Ferland Mendy is their only injury absentee with no one suspended.
Who will be the star men?
It may sound harsh but Kepa Arrizabalaga could have a huge say in whether Chelsea can perform a miraculous turnaround.
If he can keep up his good form and keep the ball out of his net, that will keep Chelsea in the game.
Enzo Fernandez, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic formed a strong midfield three at the Bernabeu and could overrun their opposition with their energy.
Karim Benzema will look to add to his 14 goals and two assists in his last nine appearances in the knockout stages – with his last 11 goals all coming against English teams.
Vinicius Junior caused Reece James a whole host of problems last week and Rodrygo will be relishing a go at Marc Cucurella.
Chelsea 0-4 Real Madrid (Real Madrid win 6-0 on aggregate)
When is Chelsea vs Real Madrid?
- Chelsea’s clash with Real Madrid will take place on Tuesday, April 18.
- The game will kick off at 8pm BST.
- Stamford Bridge will play host.
What channel is it and can it be live streamed?
- Chelsea vs Real Madrid will be shown live on BT Sport 1 in the UK.
- You can live stream the action from the BT Sport app, which is available for download onto your mobile or tablet device.
- Chelsea – 9/5
- Draw – 23/10
- Real Madrid – 29/20
- Chelsea to qualify – 7/11
- Real Madrid – 1/16
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication.