Chelsea are on the right side of a crucial Champions League away goal as they prepare for a titanic duel against the 13-time champions Real Madrid.
The tie is slightly favoured in the hosts’ favour after Christian Pulisic handed the Blues the lead. Influential forward Karim Benzema kept his side in the contest after turning in a rather average display.
The big news ahead of kick off on Wednesday is the injury concerns in the Real camp. While Sergio Ramos is likely back after missing the first leg, the likes of Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are on the sidelines. Federico Valverde will definitely not play.
Madrid rested Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the weekend’s win over Osasuna. But there was some discomfort for Raphael Varane, who limped off and headed almost immediately for x-rays. The French international is key to Zinedine Zidane’s lineup and will be treated for 48 hours ahead of this contest.
For Chelsea, it will be a race against time for Antonio Rüdiger and Mason Mount to be declared fit to start.
Both side’s won 2-0 at the weekend but faced nothing like the class of these two semi-finalists.
Zidane will need to get his tactics right from the get go on Wednesday after his team were overrun in the early stages last week.
“We wanted to press high one on one, but when you don’t carry it out well, things are tough. Once we scored, we were better and controlled play a lot more. We’re alive and we’re going to the second leg with the idea of winning,” he said after the draw.
Real Madrid’s defence will again be tested and it remains to be seen if they can rack up clean sheet which may be required to advance.