It will be the third straight meeting between Real Madrid and Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League when the two teams take to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, April 12.
Carlo Ancelotti pays a visit to his former club after guiding them to a 6-2 aggregate victory over Liverpool in the last 16, while Chelsea recovered a first-leg deficit to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1.
When Liverpool roared into a 2-0 lead at Anfield during their last-16 first leg, the four-time Champions League winner typically showed no signs of panic, as Los Blancos stunned the Anfield crowd by scoring five goals without reply before a slender 1-0 win at the Bernabeu got the job done with minimal fuss.
If the 2022-23 season is Ancelotti’s final season in charge, it would take a miracle for the Italian to leave on the back of another La Liga and Champions League double, with a 3-2 defeat to Villarreal at the weekend giving Barcelona the chance to move 15 points clear of Girona with a win on Monday night.
Real Madrid have made the Champions League title number 15 their top focus, to eliminate an English team from a knockout encounter for the fourth time in a row.
Real Madrid have not failed to score in a Champions League home match since an astonishing 3-0 loss to CSKA Moscow in December 2018, and each of their last five European games at the Bernabeu has ended in victory, but there are no prizes for guessing who inflicted Los Blancos’ last continental defeat in front of the sea of white shirts.
Frank Lampard’s second coming at Chelsea took an early surprise as he lost to Wolves over the weekend.
In a 1-0 victory for Julen Lopetegui’s team, Matheus Nunes scored a scorcher of a goal firing a stunning half-volley across the goal. This further dashed Chelsea’s hopes of returning to the top seven, let alone sparking a fanciful Champions League charge.
Against Madrid, Chelsea will be looking for luck and their best of games if they are to stand any chance of advancing ahead of the Spanish giants.
Last year’s quarterfinal between Real Madrid and Chelsea was a thrilling affair, with Real winning 5-3 on aggregate to halt Chelsea’s title defence despite the Blues winning 3-2 at the Bernabeu. Lampard and his team will start a similar vengeance expedition exactly 365 days after winning in the Spanish capital.
WHERE AND WHEN?
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu.
Date: Wednesday, April 12.
Time: 19:00 GMT.
Ferland Mendy is the only player unavailable for Los Blancos with the left-back suffering from a calf injury.
With rest for Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Fede Valverde and some others over the weekend, Ancelotti is set to recall his start back into the lineup.
Despite travelling with the squad to Madrid, Mason Mount is a doubt for the game at the Bernabeu.
Armando Broja (knee) and Cesar Azpilicueta (head) are still out, but Thiago Silva is back in team training, while Benoit Badiashile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Noni Madueke, and David Datro Fofana are not in the Blues’ Champions League roster.
N’Golo Kante should be back in the starting line to face the Spanish side after being rested over the weekend.
POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUPS
Real Madrid lineup vs Chelsea: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Chelsea lineup vs Real Madrid: Kepa; James, Fofana, Koulibaly, Chilwell; Kovacic, Fernandez, Kante; Sterling, Havertz, Felix.