An injured lion guards the bridge that Real Madrid needs to cross to play in the Champions League semifinals for the eleventh time in the last thirteen seasons. The whites subdued Chelsea last week at the Santiago Bernabéu with goals from Benzema and Asensio, but they left their prey alive. The ‘blues’, plunged into a crisis that threatens to separate them from European competitions for the second time in almost three decades, will now appeal to the push of their lair to revolt against a destiny that seems written according to the precedents and the dynamics so The two squads that will fight this Tuesday at Stamford Bridge in order to stay in the race that leads to the final in Istanbul are going through disparate.
Frank Lampard’s team accumulates six games without knowing victory, has succumbed in the three appointments that it has faced at the side of its new coach and is consumed in the midst of internal disputes. Saturday’s loss to Brighton prompted the local parish to take out its anger against Todd Boehly, the American tycoon who stormed onto Chelsea property like an elephant in a china shop. He watered the market with millions to gather brilliant stars without a structured sports plan, thereby contributing to the chaos that devours a team that treasures enormous individual talent, but lacks a football identity and leaders who pull the car in moments of pressure max.
Lampard alluded precisely to that lack of character over the weekend after another lackluster performance that left the London team 14 points behind in the Premier League in the area that gives access to Europe and turned the decisive assault against Real Madrid into the only card that it remains to save a disastrous campaign.
The ‘blues’ managed to overcome two of the three Champions League matches in which they arrived at Stamford Bridge with a two-goal deficit in the first leg: against Napoli in the round of 16 of the 2011-2012 campaign (3-1 and 4- 1) and against PSG in the quarterfinals of 13-14 (3-1 and 2-0), after previously giving up against Monaco in the semifinals of 03-04 (3-1 and 2-2). However, they have only achieved two results this season at their stadium (against Milan in the Champions League group stage and against Wolverhampton on matchday ten of the Premier) that would allow them to certify their place in the semifinals against Real Madrid and two others (against Bournemouth in the English tournament and against Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 of the Champions League) that would lead the duel to extra time.
The company is complicated by the lack of punch from a squad that barely averages one goal per game and does not have any gunner who has reached ten goals. Havertz, their top scorer, has nine, a record that at Real Madrid is surpassed by Benzema (26), Vinicius (21), Valverde (12), Rodrygo (11) and Asensio (10). The German is expected tonight at the spearhead. Lampard, who has Koulibaly absent due to injury and Chilwell due to suspension, will predictably maintain the system with three central defenders and two wingers that he used at the Bernabéu, but he is obliged to offer a much more aggressive approach than he offered at the coliseum. white. Hence, Sterling and Joao Félix or Mudryk are emerging as Havertz’s squires up front.
Militao and Carvajal, warned
Stopping his claws is the purpose of the visiting side, which returns full of joy to a scenario that was tragic for its interests a couple of seasons ago, when the block led by Thomas Tuchel defeated Zinedine Zidane’s troops with goals from Werner and Mount on the way to glory in Do Dragao, but in which the whites enjoyed a splendid night twelve months ago with a hat trick from Benzema that put another tile on the path towards the Fourteenth.
Chamartín’s team, which only presents Mendy’s loss due to injury but has Militao and Carvajal warned of sanctions, has seen the goal in the last fifteen games that it has faced within its fetish tournament, it has only been dry in four of the 46 bets that he has played since the campaign raised the curtain and the five away defeats that he has accumulated at this point in the course among all competitions have always come by the minimum.
The historical background also favors him. Real Madrid have overcome twelve of the fifteen qualifying rounds of the old European Cup in which they faced the second leg away from home with a two-goal lead. Grasshopper (1978), Hamburg (1980) and Monaco (2004) make up the black legend that Chelsea intends to swell.
Chelsea: Kepa, Fofana, Thiago Silva, Chalobah, James, Kante, Enzo Fernandez, Cucurella, Sterling, Havertz and Joao Felix.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga, Kroos, Valverde, Modric, Rodrygo, Benzema and Vinicius.
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy).
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Estadio: Stamford Bridge.
TV: Movistar Champions League.
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