apr 22, 2021
apr 22, 2021

UCL semi-final preview: Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

Förhandstips: Real Madrid mot Porto–Chelsea

Inform your Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

Analysing the Real Madrid vs. Chelsea stats

Who will reach the Champions League final?

UCL semi-final preview: Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

Real Madrid and Chelsea are set for their first competitive meeting in 23 years when they face off in the Champions League semi-finals. Can Chelsea reach their first final since 2012, or will Real Madrid go one step closer to what would be their fifth Champions League title in eight seasons? Read on to inform your Real Madrid vs. Chelsea predictions.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 27, 21:00 (CEST)

Venue: Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid

Latest Champions League results:

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool, Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid (Real Madrid progress 3-1 on aggregate)

Porto 0-2 Chelsea, Chelsea 0-1 Porto (Chelsea progress 2-1 on aggregate)

Most recent meeting: Real Madrid 0-1 Chelsea (1998 UEFA Super Cup)

Team news and predicted line-ups

Real Madrid predicted line-up: Courtois; Odriozola, Eder Militao, Nacho, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Real Madrid team news: Real Madrid are currently in the midst of a defensive injury crisis, and could be without all of Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, and Dani Carvajal. Federico Valverde is likely to miss out after testing positive for COVID-19, while Eden Hazard is still working on building up his fitness.

Chelsea predicted line-up: Mendy; Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Ziyech, Havertz, Mount.

Chelsea team news: Mateo Kovacic and Thiago Silva both missed Chelsea’s mid-week league fixture against Brighton, and Thomas Tuchel will be keen to have both fit. Otherwise, the Blues have a clean bill of health.

Inform your Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

This is a Champions League semi-final tie between two teams who have perhaps both progressed further in this season’s competition than they might have initially expected to. While they are firmly involved in the La Liga title race, Real Madrid currently appear to be in a transitional phase under Zinedine Zidane, with their squad largely comprised of established yet aging stalwarts and emerging, raw talents.

For Chelsea, it has firmly been a season of two halves. Frank Lampard left the club in January with the team sitting in the Premier League mid-table and bereft of confidence. Since then, aside from reaching this tournament’s final four, Thomas Tuchel has reignited their top-four bid and set up an FA Cup final against Leicester City on May 15.

Both sides have leant on defensive resilience to book their semi-finals spots, having conceded just three goals in their eight knockout stage matches between them thus far. Chelsea have been particularly impressive on this front, and can boast seven clean sheets from their 10 fixtures in this season’s competition.

However, that isn’t to suggest that they have been inclined to turn up and defend. Of the eight teams that reached the quarter-finals, only Manchester City can sport a better xGD (expected goal difference) per 90 minutes than the pair in this season’s competition, and they have failed to score in just three of their 20 matches between them.

The hosts Real Madrid are narrow favourites to win the first leg at 2.450*, with Chelsea trailing at 3.120* and a draw set at 3.110*. The Goals market is tightly positioned with both over and under 2.25 available at 1.909*, while Chelsea are 1.709* to fail to score on the night and Madrid are 1.613* to net over one goal.

Förhandstips: Real Madrid mot Chelsea betting: Who has the edge?

In stark contrast to the other semi-final featuring two of the tournament’s most free-flowingly attacking teams, there are firm indicators to suggest this will be a tight, cagey affair. Both sides have exhibited a recent preference for (and enjoyed success at) staging their attacks on the counter, while as mentioned they can be tricky opponents to get on the scoresheet against.

Chelsea’s chances of victory directly depend on how their talented but misfiring attack perform on the night.

Real Madrid enter this match on the back of strong home form on the continent, having won their last four Champions League matches at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano while netting at least two goals in every fixture. The stadium’s compact, narrow pitch seems to suit their counter-attacking style and certainly caused problems for a Liverpool back four who struggled to deploy their usual high line.

Despite question marks over the strength of the defence he will able to field, it seems fair to assume that Zidane will view the first leg as a match in which Madrid have to go on the attack. In their quarter-final tie against Liverpool, they attempted 16 shots on goal in the first leg compared to just seven in the second. While they benefited from uncharacteristically wayward finishing by Mohamed Salah in the latter, they have asserted their ability to establish and then defend a lead across two legs.

While Chelsea’s formation and line-up are straightforward to predict, they do possess the underlying asset of tactical flexibility. Indeed, they controlled both legs of their Round of 16 tie against Atletico Madrid, but were then content to take on a more passive role in the quarter-finals against Porto.

The latter entailed eyeing up opportunities to trouble Porto’s defence from the wings and palpably keeping proceedings slow and scrappy during the second leg.

Chelsea’s chances of victory directly depend on how their talented but misfiring attack perform on the night. Kai Havertz has turned in decent performances in the false nine role but also allowed himself to be marked out of matches on occasion, while Hakim Ziyech has been consistently inconsistent. Timo Werner hasn’t started recent matches, but his sheer pace on the ball could easily prove useful provided he overcomes has lack of confidence in front of goal.

With all of this in mind, the match is perhaps inevitably geared towards a midfield battle, and who can gain the upper hand at simultaneously establishing passing lanes for their team while blocking them for the opposition. If Mateo Kovacic is fit to play, this will be particularly intriguing, as the 26-year-old will be able to call upon his three years’ experience playing alongside the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the Madrid midfield.

Förhandstips: Real Madrid mot Chelsea: Where is the value?

The value for this fixture arguably lies most adeptly in the Goals markets. As mentioned, the match is likely to be a defensively-focused affair, meaning under 2.5 on the night at 1.662* could provide easy value. Chelsea’s last four Champions League runouts have witnessed a solitary goal in the first half, meaning a goalless opening 45 minutes at 1.709* is also a market to keep your eye on.

If there is a winner on the night, it doesn’t seem likely they will take the victory by a substantial margin. Real Madrid and Chelsea are available to win with a -0.75 Handicap at 3.010* and 3.940* respectively, which could prove a reliable route to lengthening your odds.

Lastly, and perhaps ominously for Thomas Tuchel’s team, Chelsea have failed to win the opening leg of their last four semi-final ties in European competition. As a consequence, the Draw No Bet for Real Madrid at 1.746* is worth looking into.

You can also check out our preview of the other semi-final tie PSG vs. Manchester City. Bet on Real Madrid vs. Chelsea and more with Pinnacle's latest Champions League markets.

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