Favored versus disadvantaged. The draw pitted the strongest team (along with City and Bayern) and probably the most disadvantaged team. Real Madrid, in fact, will be opposed by Chelsea, in one of the two quarterfinals of the more complicated side of the board. If merengues boast unique European charm and continuity in the world, the blues continue to trudge on all fronts. After the 3rd change of technical direction of the season, Frankie Lampard is set to make his start at Bernabeu, hoping to turn his Chelsea into a crucial clash.


If the La Liga practice now seems closed, with Barcelona starting overwhelmingly to win, the race for the Champions League of Ancelotti's Real seems to have just begun. The blancos, veterans of a scorching and peremptory 2-3 home against Villarreal, have abandoned the idea of re-coming in the league (-12): this is demonstrated by the partial turnover of Ancelotti, who has relegated 5 elements of his starting eleven to the bench. It is likely that the Italian coach began to crave, rather, the victory of the second Cup with big ears in a row.

The Real of the last few times is not regular and tremendously cynical as usual, having the blancos lost as many as 3 matches of the last 7. The merengues, however, are also veterans of a resounding 0-4 at home to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, which projected the Madrileños into the final, but above all of a very precious double success in the round of 16 against Liverpool (2-5 and 1-0).

Against Chelsea, Real is clearly favored: they have a more equipped staff and equipped with enormous experience. It will be very difficult to outperform it. Ancelotti will have to do without Mendy alone. Full pink for the rest: in his own 4-3-3, Valverde returns high on the right, with Benzema in the middle and Vinicius on the left. Rodrygo ready to take over the second half.


Disasters on disasters. Chelsea's season, net of a pharaonic market, is undoubtedly bankrupt. This is demonstrated by the daring technical changes on the bench: Tuchel's premature farewell with the attached (very dearest) engagement of Potter, taken out in just 6 months to enlist Lampard. The results, however, have always been the same: fluctuating and unsatisfactory. Chelsea have not won in 5 games and, more generally, in 2023 they lost as many as 8 out of 18 matches played in all competitions. The role did not change even with the new coach, who at his debut sensationally fenced at home to Wolverhampton, losing 1-0. Chelsea slipped to 11th place in the Premier League, -8 from the Europe zone.

The blues need a twist. And perhaps, the match against Real, in which they certainly start as underdogs, can represent the right opportunity to relaunch themselves and hit the ransom. The Londoners will have to start from the precious success against Dortmund (2-0) in the round of 16, it was worth the comeback of the first leg (lost 1-0) and the subsequent landing in the quarterfinals.

Lampard will not be able to count on Thiago Silva, Broja and Azpilicueta. In his 4-3-3, space to Felix, Havertz and Sterling ahead, with Mudryk, Aubameyang (not at best) and Pulisic ready to take over. To evaluate Mount and Kantè, in doubt.


Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; N. Fernandez, Rudiger, Militao, Alaba; Modric, Thouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr. All.: Ancelotti.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; James, Fofana, Koulibaly, Chilwell; Gallagher, Fernandez, Kovacic; Sterling, Havertz, Felix. All.: Lampard.


Numbers and curiosities:

The recent precedents between Real and Chelsea in the Champions League amount to 4: 2 wins in favour of the blues, one of Real and a tie. The last cross dates back to last season, exactly in the quarterfinals: Real (winner for 1-3 in London) recovered the Londoners at the end of the return match, bringing the match back to 1-3 in favor of the English and completing the passage of the round in extra time, thus landing in the semifinals.

Real have always conceded goals from Chelsea, in every precedent. In 3 of the 4 challenges, both teams scored.

Chelsea haven't won in 4 games, having remained dry on goals in the last 3. The blues, in general, lost 8 of 18 meetings in 2023.

In 5 of Real Madrid's last 6 games there have been more than 2.5 total goals. In 8 of the last 10 of the English, on the other hand, less than 2.5.

The final examination:

The panache of unpredictability brought by the rotation of the blues bench may not be enough for Chelsea: the Londoners, much less equipped than Real, will hardly snatch a positive result from Bernabeu. The blancos, certainly more launched, could win the first leg by winning with at least 2 goals, immediately channeling themselves on the semi-final tracks. Benzema could still score, on the net 3 times in the last 2 of the Champions League. An exact result? 3-1 for merengues.

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