Real Madrid host Chelsea at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday night in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg. Los Blancos are looking to finish what they started a week ago by winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge thanks to a Karim Benzema hattrick. It was Real’s first-ever win against the Blues, who bounced back to win 6-0 at Southampton in their last match.
Real Madrid Form
Real Madrid have won eight of their last nine matches since losing 1-0 away to PSG in the round of 16. That won the return leg 3-1 at home as Karim Benzema scored a hattrick. The French striker repeated the trick a week ago with a treble in a 3-1 win at Chelsea.
Benzema then netted twice in a 3-0 win at Mallorca before Los Blancos were thrashed and battered 4-0 at home by Barcelona without their talismanic forward. He returned to score two penalties in a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo before the first leg. Over the weekend, Madrid took another step towards the title by beating Getafe 2-0 at home. Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro got the goals.
Real Madrid Team News
Madrid rested Luka Modric and Toni Kroos completely for the weekend win against Getafe to keep them fresh for this one. Dani Carvajal also played no minutes to ensure he has started against Chelsea. Eder Militao is suspended at center-back for this match so Nacho will start alongside David Alaba.
A big concern for Carlo Ancelotti is that Ferland Mendy is again carrying a groin injury and is touch-and-go to play this match. If he misses out, then Marcelo will be at left-back, a big upgrade defensively. Eden Hazard remains injured whilst Fede Valverde is tipped to keep his place on the right in preference to Rodrygo.
Real Madrid Motivation
Madrid spent the entire second half at Stamford Bridge in defensive mode, protecting their 3-1 lead. They did not have a single shot after their 46th-minute goal and conceded 12 attempts and some big changes. They will push to score in this match, forcing Chelsea to score at least three.
If they were to concede first, then it would be a dilemma whether to attack or defend. For that reason, we will look to keep this at 0-0 for as long as possible.
Having lost just four times in 49 matches all season, Chelsea then lost two in a row with seven goals leaked. Brentford beat them 4-1 at Stamford Bridge before Real Madrid won 3-1 in West London. The Blues bounced back to beat a complacent Southampton team 6-0 over the weekend as Timo Werner and Mason Mount scored a brace each.
Before those successive defeats, Chelsea have won six matches in a row. They reached this stage by beating Lille 4-1 on aggregate in the round of 16. The Blues have lost just once in 11 away Champions League matches, winning eight of those. Despite the manner of their loss in the first leg, the Blues dominated the shot count 16-2 from the 34th minute onwards and perhaps should have netted once or twice in the second period.
Chelsea Team News
The Blues will be without Ben Chilwell at left wingback and Callum Hudson-Odoi in forwarding areas. Romelu Lukaku is doubtful about Achilles’ pain but was never going to start anyway. For Thomas Tuchel, he has to decide between Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, and Hakim Ziyech to complete the front three.
Reece James will return having played just half an hour at Southampton. Cesar Azpilicueta tested positive for COVID-19 and that may mean a start for Marcos Alonso at left wingback. Mateo Kovacic will surely start in place of the out-of-form Jorginho.
Chelsea have nothing to lose and that could be liberating for the squad. Tuchel said the tie is over but he won’t be saying the same to his players. If the Blues can score first, the tie is back on.
An attacking outlook is necessary here and that will be encouraged by the absence of at least one Madrid starting defender.
Madrid have won 8 of their last 9 matches
Real Madrid have conceded in 5 of their last 7 matches (all comps)
Real Madrid have won 7 of their last 9 home CL matches
Real’s Benzema has scored 13 goals in his last 8 matches
Chelsea have lost just once to Real Madrid in 6 meetings (W3, D2)
CFC have lost 1 of their last 11 away CL matches (W7, D2)
The Blues have scored in 16 of their last 17 matches (all comps)
This match is hard to call. Madrid’s lead should mean that they progress to the semi-finals but both teams should score, not least because the hosts are missing Eder Militao due to suspension. Chelsea have the potential to win this match but overturning a 3-1 margin is highly unlikely. It may be safer to back goals markets in this match.
Best Bet: Both teams to score at 1.58
Alternative Bet: Over 3.5 goals at 2.95
Alternative Bet: Real Madrid win/draw double chance and over 2.5 goals at 2.85
Goalscorer tip: Benzema to score anytime at 1.95
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