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Chelsea vs Real Madrid – LIVE Reddit Soccer 6/4/2022

Chelsea vs Real Madrid – LIVE Reddit Soccer 6/4/2022

The UEFA Champions League quarter-final ties kick off this midweek. And one of the biggest matches of the round will see current holders Chelsea take on La Liga leaders Real Madrid, with the first leg set to be played at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Chelsea, who won the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel last season, sailed through the group stage without any hiccups. However, they did lose a game on their way to finishing second in Group H behind Juventus. The Blues eased past LOSC Lille in the Round of 16, beating them 4-1 on aggregate. However, Chelsea go into arguably the biggest game of their season so far on the back of a shock 4-1 defeat to Brentford in the Premier League.

Real Madrid finished at the top of Group D, cruising through with comfort barring the shock loss to Sheriff Tiraspol. Drawn against PSG in the Round of 16, Los Blancos lost the first leg, only to produce a stirring comeback in the second leg, led by Karim Benzema, to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory. Having suffered a heavy defeat to Barcelona in La Liga before the international break, Carlo Ancelotti’s side bounced back to beat Celta Vigo 2-1 in their latest game.

Chelsea will be without long-term absentee Ben Chilwell while Callum Hudson-Odoi is also a doubt for the clash after missing Tuesday’s training session. Christian Pulisic, who was unavailable for the weekend clash against Brentford, was pictured back in training in a boost for the home team.

After setting his team up with a four-man backline over the weekend, Thomas Tuchel is expected to revert to his preferred 3-4-2-1 setup on Wednesday night in front of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Andreas Christensen, who is set to join Real Madrid’s arch-rivals Barcelona in the summer, will form the three-man defence along with Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger.

Reece James, who featured for a little over 30 minutes over the weekend, should start here, slotting in at right wing-back while Marcos Alonso gets the nod on the left. The battle between James and Vinicius Junior could be an exciting one to watch and could have a major say on the outcome of the game.

N’Golo Kante and Jorginho should line up in the centre of the park, with ex-Real Madrid ace Mateo Kovacic being an option from the bench. Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount will share the creative burden for Chelsea, slotting in as the two attacking midfielders who will be tasked with supporting Kai Havertz in the final third of the pitch.

The continued uncertainty surrounding the Chelsea ownership debacle is doing the Champions League holders no favours, but the Blues’ defence of their crown is going swimmingly so far, with a dissatisfactory Lille side no match for their English counterparts in the knockout rounds.

Chelsea already had one foot firmly in the last eight after claiming a 2-0 win versus Les Dogues on home soil before their trip to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where Burak Yilmaz’s spot kick gave Lille a slight glimmer of hope before Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta quickly dashed the Dogues’ dreams.

Up until the weekend, Chelsea had done a stellar job of focusing on their on-field endeavours, but Tuchel was at a loss to explain his side’s capitulation against Brentford, as the Bees ran out 4-1 winners at Stamford Bridge to leave the home fans shell-shocked in their seats.

Seeing their six-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end in such bitterly disappointing fashion is not what the doctor ordered before a meeting with Real Madrid, but not since the 2010-11 season have the Blues been knocked out in the Champions League quarter-finals – going down to Manchester United that year.

The Blues’ defence was breached at will by Brentford at the weekend, but Tuchel’s side enter the first leg having won each of their last five home games in the Champions League with five clean sheets to boot, with the first game in that sequence coming against their Spanish capital counterparts.

PSG’s penchant for seemingly impossible Champions League collapses has defined their European endeavours over the past few seasons, and Real Madrid became the latest side to frustrate Les Parisiens further with a phenomenal comeback in front of the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

Ahead of an expected summer move to Madrid, Kylian Mbappe’s second audition started off swimmingly with the opening goal to put his side 2-0 up on aggregate, but fellow prolific Frenchman Karim Benzema’s timeless qualities shone through, as the 34-year-old took advantage of PSG’s defensive lapses to net a quickfire hat-trick and keep the Champions League dream alive for Real.

A side with 13 European crowns to their name dumping out a PSG side still searching for their maiden Champions League honour was an obvious result on paper, but one certainly could not have foreseen the drama that unfolded in the Spanish capital before Real were brought crashing back down to earth.

Being thrashed 4-0 by Barcelona in El Clasico was a sure-fire way to dampen the spirits, and Real were far from their best against Celta Vigo at the weekend, but a pair of Benzema penalties ultimately got them over the line for a sixth win in seven matches.

Victory at Celta also represents a third away win on the bounce for Los Blancos, who went down 2-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last term following a 1-1 stalemate at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, but the Blues will step out onto more daunting turf for the second leg this year.

Real Madrid will set up in their usual 4-3-3 formation for this big game. Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will return to Stamford Bridge with the hope of securing a clean sheet. Eder Militao and David Alaba are certain starters at the heart of the defence for the Merengues, while Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy occupy the flanks.

Casemiro will be tasked with keeping a lid on the creative output of Hakim Ziyech. The Brazilian will have support from his usual partners-in-crime in the middle of the park in Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. The veteran duo will not only lend defensive support but also look to provide the forward thrust and creativity for Real Madrid.

The attacking line picks itself for Real Madrid as Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior, and Marco Asensio are likely to feature in the final third. Rodrygo Goes and Gareth Bale will be options from the bench.

The veteran striker has been the go-to man for Real Madrid when things are not going their way. And it was his inspirational display against Paris Saint-Germain that helped the Spanish giants pull off a comeback in the last round and set up a date with Chelsea.

Following his hat-trick against PSG, Benzema has scored eight goals for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League this season. It is his most in a single campaign in the competition. If he finds the back of the net once more, the 34-year-old will be setting a new season-best record for goals by a Frenchman in the competition.

Doing so against Chelsea will not be easy, though, as he will be up against a formidable defensive line comprising Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger. How Benzema fares against the Blues’ defensive duo could have a major effect on the outcome of the game.

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