Real Madrid travel to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final encounter, having won the first leg 2-0.
Goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio were enough for Los Blancos at the Santiago Bernabeu last week as they eased past Chelsea.
In Saturday’s Premier League match, Brighton & Hove Albion completely outplayed the underwhelming Blues, giving the Seagulls 70% of the ball at one point. Conor Gallagher’s deflected goal was balanced out by Danny Welbeck’s header and Julio Enciso’s belter.
Frank Lampard now holds a dreadful record of three defeats from three games in charge; Todd Boehly cut a dejected figure as he was given an earful from the Stamford Bridge faithful, as Lampard’s dream return turns into a nightmare. Lampard claimed that a 2-1 scoreline flattered Chelsea and that his side were fortunate not to lose by more.
Gallagher’s fortunate goal against Brighton at least ended a four-game goalless streak for Chelsea, who did overcome a first-leg deficit against Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge to advance to the last eight. Chelsea has now lost six straight games since a 3-1 victory over Leicester City under Graham Potter.
Chelsea has now won five of its last seven Champions League matches after losing the first leg away from home, but they have lost all four of their games at Stamford Bridge since defeating BVB, so the odds won’t mean a thing unless Lampard’s team can suddenly find their best shooting form.
A few days after scoring his team’s second goal against Chelsea, Madrid’s winger Asensio made another crucial contribution during Los Blancos’ weekend trip to Cadiz.
The La Liga champions were forced to play with patience in their match against the team in the bottom half of the table on Saturday evening due to Ancelotti’s justified lineup changes, but Nacho Fernandez’s goal and another Asensio attempt kept their unrealistic dreams of domestic success alive.
Real Madrid’s return to winning ways in La Liga reduced Barcelona’s lead shrink to 10 points, but the Blaugrana have a chance to reply against Getafe on Sunday, and Ancelotti’s team would be excused for putting European success ahead of domestic success as the season enters its final stretch.
Real Madrid has advanced from 18 of its 19 Champions League knockout matches in which it has won the first leg by at least two goals, losing only to eventual runners-up Monaco in 2003-04, and even then, Los Blancos were only eliminated due to the now-abolished away goals rule after a 5-5 aggregate draw.
WHERE & WHEN?
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu
Date: Tuesday, April 18
Time: 19:00 GMT
A red card in the first leg means Ben Chilwell is out of Tuesday’s encounter at Stamford Bridge with Marc Cucurella certain to return to the lineup.
With the hamstring injury he sustained at the Bernabeu, Kalidou Koulibaly will be sidelined for a “few weeks,” joining Armando Broja (knee), while Kai Havertz (knee), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (back), and Carney Chukwuemeka (knock) will all need to be evaluated over the next 48 hours.
For Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr and Toni Kroos are set to return to the team after being rated over the weekend in the win over Cadiz.
Ferland Mendy remains the only player who is unavailable as he continues his recovery from injury.
POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUPS
Chelsea lineup vs Real Madrid: Kepa; James, Fofana, Silva, Cucurella; E. Fernandez, Kante, Kovacic; Mudryk, Havertz, Felix.
Real Madrid lineup vs Chelsea: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Valverde, Kroos, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius.