Chelsea face a trip to the Spanish capital on Wednesday evening, where they’ll look to overcome an in-form Real Madrid side under the lights at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Blues managed to overcome a first-leg defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the last round of the competition, eventually progressing as 2-1 winners on aggregate.
Real Madrid faced Liverpool in the round-of-sixteen, securing a 5-2 win at Anfield in the first leg despite going behind early on. Los Blancos picked up a 1-0 win at home, bringing the aggregate score to 6-2 – and Jurgen Klopp’s side were sent packing.
Chelsea have taken a 24-man squad to the Spanish capital for this mouthwatering encounter, and Frank Lampard will benefit from the availability of N’Golo Kanté – who has recently returned from a lengthy absence following a hamstring injury.
Thiago Silva is also back in the squad and will be available for selection, but the Brazilian has trained just twice since coming back from a knee injury that sidelined him for six weeks. Mason Mount has travelled with the squad, but is less likely to feature given a pelvic injury that is causing discomfort.
Armando Broja hasn’t travelled with the squad, as the youngster is still recovering from a serious knee injury that he picked up during a friendly against Aston Villa in December. The Albanian is unlikely to feature for the Blues until next season.
In a press conference, Carlo Ancelotti has hinted that he may choose to deploy the same starting eleven that he utilised in a 4-0 demolition of Barcelona at the Nou Camp last Wednesday. Los Blancos have since fell to a narrow defeat against Villarreal, but they’ll be looking for Karim Benzema to find the back of the net – he did so four times against Chelsea last season!
Ferland Mendy is still out with a thigh injury, which leaves Ancelotti with a decision to make. Eduardo Camavinga was utilised in the left-back spot against Barcelona, but we could see Nacho Fernandez preferred there against Chelsea. Other than that, Carlo Ancelotti has his full squad to pick from.
“I feel sad [looking at Chelsea’s position in the table].
“I hope Lampard will be able to do a fantastic job with them.
“He knows these kind of games well and how to prepare his team.
“We have to take advantage of the fact that we play the first game at home.”
“I think the Champions League sometimes offers you a bit of escapism.
“There’s pressure on both teams due to the size of both clubs. Are Real Madrid favourites? Yes.
“Football at this level is pressure and if you can’t handle it, you’re not a big club or big player.
“I think we have to understand the strength of the Real Madrid team. We have to be disciplined with our game off the ball, understand the threats, ways they like to score and how they control the game.”
Real Madrid: Courtois; Camavinga, Alaba, Militão, Carvajal; Modrić, Kroos, Valverde; Vinícius Jr, Benzema, Rodrygo
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Chilwell, Koulibaly, Fofana, James; Fernández, Kanté; Mudryk, Havertz, Sterling; Félix
Where can I watch?
Kickoff for this tie at the Santiago Bernabéu is at 8pm UK time on Wednesday, 12 April 2023. It will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1, with coverage from 7pm.