The Chelsea lineup that should start against Real Madrid

03 May 2021 07:15

Chelsea host Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday night, with Thomas Tuchel looking to guide the Blues to a first final in the competition since 2012.

Chelsea hold a slight advantage from the first leg 1-1 draw in Madrid thanks to the away goal scored by Christian Pulisic in the first half. They were the better side for a significant chunk of the game and fans can take hope from that ahead of this one.

Here’s a look at the starting XI that the manager could pick.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Antonio Rudiger is set to play in a mask to protect a facial injury | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Edouard Mendy (GK) - Has kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League either side of Karim Benzema’s strike that beat him in the first leg.

Cesar Azpilicueta (RWB) - Could return at wing-back after Reece James was favoured against Fulham. The Spaniard’s experience and defensive stability is a plus.

Thiago Silva (CB) - Looking to make it two Champions League finals in successive seasons after getting to the final last season with Paris Saint-Germain.

Andreas Christensen (CB) - The Dane has pretty much been a regular under Tuchel after falling out of favour with Frank Lampard and looks a different player to the one that was previously dropped.

Antonio Rudiger (CB) - Sat out the Fulham game at the weekend with a facial injury but is expected to return for this one wearing a mask for protection.

Ben Chilwell (LWB) - Has been in and out of the team of late as Tuchel has rotated in Marcos Alonso semi regularly but has had the nod in each of the last three Champions League games.

2. Midfielders

N'Golo Kante will be crucial to Chelsea gaining a foothold in midfield | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

N’Golo Kante (CM) - The Frenchman only appeared from the bench at the weekend, which will serve as important rest after only recently returning from a brief spell out injured.

Jorginho (CM) - Made way for Billy Gilmour to get some minutes under his belt in the Premier League against Fulham and is expected to return. Mateo Kovacic is also likely to be ruled out.

Mason Mount (AM) - Chelsea will be looking for his creativity to get them ahead in the tie, although he only has one goal and one assist in the Champions League this season.

3. Forwards

Timo Werner could drift wide and Kai Havertz could play as a 'false nine' | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Timo Werner (FW) - Missed a golden opportunity in the first leg in Madrid but has managed a goal contribution in each of his last two Premier League games.

Kai Havertz (FW) - Neither Chelsea forward is likely to play as a typical ‘number nine’ as Tuchel wants to ensure that Sergio Ramos will have no one to directly ‘fight’ with.

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Source: 90min