Preview: Chelsea vs Real Madrid
A tussle featuring two of Europe’s biggest sides will be on display when Chelsea welcome Real Madrid to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening. The Blues come into this tie as the reigning Champions League holders, while Los Blancos have won the coveted title a whopping 13 times – more than any other side in European club football history. Unfortunately, there’s only one spot available in the semi-finals, meaning that one of these two sides will be seeing their journey end after two legs.
The two teams couldn’t have experienced vastly different results in their respective weekend fixtures. On the one hand, Chelsea suffered a shocking and humiliating 4-1 home loss to newly promoted Brentford, which set all sorts of records for the wrong reasons. This result snapped a five game winning streak in the league for Thomas Tuchel’s side, and with Tottenham picking up a resounding 5-1 win over Newcastle, the Blues, who sit in third, are just five points ahead of their fellow London giants.
Still, Chelsea do have a game in hand – but their shocking collapse over the weekend will certainly have set off some alarm bells amongst fans and other observers. Meanwhile, Real Madrid recovered from an embarrassing 4-0 loss in El Clasico prior to the international break by overpowering Celta de Vigo 2-1 on the road. A pair of penalties from the in-form Karim Benzema was enough to give Carlo Ancelotti’s men a crucial victory and keep Los Blancos firmly in control of the La Liga title race.
In terms of the Champions League, Los Blancos pulled off one of the most memorable comebacks so far this season thanks to the heroics of Benzema, who netted a hat-trick to dump PSG out of the competition after it seemed like Kylian Mbappe had done enough to ensure a quarter-finals spot for Les Parisiens.
Finally, Real Madrid will also have revenge firmly on their minds, as this is the second consecutive time they will be facing Chelsea in the knockout rounds. The last time the two teams met, it was during the semi-finals and it was the Madrid giants who were sent packing while Chelsea went on to beat Manchester City 1-0 in the final. However, not only are Chelsea unbeaten in their last eight meetings with Spanish sides, but also Real Madrid have experienced a hoodoo when it comes to playing the Blues – with no wins from their last five meetings.
That being said, the all-time UCL winners do have a great track record when it comes to facing the reigning champs, with just one loss from their last eight games (five wins, two draws). As such, it truly will be a fascinating clash between two big European sides, with only one ultimately set to continue their Champions League journey.
Team news: Chelsea vs Real Madrid
Chelsea: Callum Hudson-Odoi is out due to back and Achilles injuries, while Ben Chilwell is out for the rest of the season following knee surgery.
Real Madrid: Eden Hazard won’t be able to feature against his former side, as the injury-prone Belgian is out following surgery, but other from that, Ancelotti will have everyone of note available for this game.
Match facts: Chelsea vs Real Madrid
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight meetings against Spanish sides (W4 D4)
- Meanwhile, Real Madrid haven’t beaten an English team in the UCL since the 2014/15 season, and come into this contest with a record of (D2 L3) from their last five meetings
- In addition, Los Blancos have failed to beat Chelsea in their last five matches (D2 L3) – making the Blues the team that have caused the most frustration for the Spanish powerhouse in European competition
- However, Real Madrid have lost just one of their last eight UCL games when facing the reigning champion (W5 D2)
- This will be the second straight meeting between Chelsea and Real Madrid in a knockout round
- Benzema could become the top scoring French player in UCL matches if he scores against Chelsea; so far, he has eight goals in this competition