London/Madrid, 17 Apr Semi-finalists in ten of the last twelve Champions League editions, Real Madrid take on the defense with a two-goal lead secured at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium at Stamford Bridge, in one of the best moments of his season, showing physicality and power against a Chelsea looking for the miracle that will reverse their poor campaign.

Real Madrid’s dominance in the most prestigious competition at club level is indisputable. A regular semi-finalist, he seeks the eleventh on a new and demanding path to glory. Champion of five of the last nine editions. King of Europe with fourteen ‘orejonas’. Dominator of a competition in which he competes in authority and mastery of the scene which ends up making him a favorite. Despite the fact that the last two years have not started between them at first.

He buried in his present the adjective “black beast” which a Chelsea boasted of never having managed to win. He tore down that wall at Stamford Bridge last season with a Karim Benzema hat trick. After the unexpected suffering and the return, including extra time, of the return of the last quarters, in the same round there was a meeting in which there was no color in the first leg. Real Madrid rose above a team in a crisis of results and identity.

With this conviction and this blind faith in its possibilities, Real Madrid went to the temple of Chelsea. With Vinícius, recovered from a slight overload that made him rest in Cadiz, as a differential factor. With Karim Benzema as a great reference, with an indisputable goalscoring leadership in decisive matches.

Author of fourteen goals in the last eight Champions League knockout matches. Key in the conquest of the last edition in the comebacks against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, they did it again after a discreet group stage, scoring Liverpool in the round of 16 and Chelsea in the first chapter of the quarter-finals.

With the only absence of Ferland Mendy due to injury, the decision to be taken by Carlo Ancelotti conditions all lines. The more attacking, with Rodrygo Goes in a trident that fought at Anfield and Camp Nou in the Cup, which gave the advantage in the first leg; or the conservative, to increase the muscle with the presence of Fede Valverde among the front three and his biggest defensive assist. The two goals of advantage invite us to think about the last option. This would move Camavinga from winger to pivot and the entry of Nacho Fernández to complete the defence.

Miracle is the best word to define what Chelsea have in front of them on Tuesday. The three defeats in three games – Wolves, Real Madrid and Brighton – have completely tarnished the arrival of Frank Lampard on the bench at Stamford Bridge and inflamed the spirits of a public who know that this Tuesday they will play for the little life that ‘they have. quit this season.

Against Brighton, the series of four games without a goal was finally broken – the worst since 1993 – but it fell with a crash, bordering on the ridiculous, against a much better opponent and who provoked boos and insults in the grandstands. Fans also didn’t appreciate the owners’ intrusion and that was that Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali and Hansjorg Wyss were seen entering the dressing room after the loss to Brighton.

This, added to Boehly’s pretentious declarations in the first leg: “We are going to win 3-0”, annoys a crowd who preferred that Roman Abramovich only put in the money, without interfering.

In sport, Chelsea can save a few good minutes from Mykhailo Mudryk, who could displace Raheem Sterling from the eleven, invisible in recent games. Kai Havertz, who was not called up against Brighton, and Joao Félix will start in Lampard’s change of schedule from 3-5-2 at the Bernabéu to a more to his liking 4-3-3.

With Kalidou Koulibaly injured, Thiago Silva, who was also rested against Brighton, will resume his role as centre-back alongside Wesley Fofana. Marc Cucurella will replace the suspended Ben Chilwell and Reece James will be on the right. The double pivot will be formed by Mateo Kovacic and Enzo Fernández and Lampard has two options here; play with N’Golo Kanté or cede ownership to Mason Mount, the more offensive side. Unprecedented madness would be to dispense with Kanté and Mount and put Joao there, giving Lampard the chance to play ahead of Havertz, Sterling and Mudryk.

It will be the third time Chelsea have attempted to overturn a two-goal deficit at home; he failed in 2004 against Monaco and achieved it in 2012 against Napoli and in 2014 against Paris Saint Germain.

Real Madrid haven’t retraced a two-goal advantage made at their stadium since Monaco did so in 2004 with Fernando Morientes as goalscorer. They faced 61 European qualifiers with a scoreboard advantage after winning at home and overtaking 48 of them.

With Ancelotti, the semi-finals are guaranteed. He achieved them in the three editions in which he led the white team and in two he ended up proclaiming himself champion.

. Possible combinations:

Chelsea: Kepa; James, Silva, Fofana, Cucurella; Enzo, Kovacic, Kante; Felix, Havertz and Mudryk.

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Nacho; Camavinga, Kroos, Modric; Fede Valverde, Vinicius and Benzema.

Referee: Daniele Orsaro (Italy)

Stadium: Stamford Bridge.

Time: 21:00 CET (19:00 GMT). ECE


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