Manchester City predictably claimed their spot in the Champions League final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Paris St Germain in their second leg on Tuesday night, giving them a 4-1 victory on aggregate. Now Chelsea have a chance to make it a second all-English final in the last three years.
Chelsea earned a crucial away goal in the 1-1 draw with Real Madrid last week and are the betting favourites to win tonight’s game and join City in the final. In the first leg Chelsea were the better side and should actually have won the game, but a glaring missing – another one – by Timo Werner saw them settle for the draw.
The problem for Chelsea is that you can’t give afford to let the Spanish giants off the hook and by not taking advantage of their dominance last week it might still come back to haunt them. The benefit of home ground advantage has all but been cancelled out by the continuing Covid-19 restrictions and for me the 5/2 about a Real Madrid win is appealing. As is the 22/10 for a draw in the 90 minutes. Chelsea may indeed win, but 11/10 is no value for me as a punter against opposition as good as Zinedine Zidane’s Spanish powerhouse. As a Chelsea fan I’d love them to progress, but I’m not going to jinx them!
Chelsea are still missing the injured Mateo Kovacic while Real Madrid will be without defender Raphael Varane.
Chelsea progress if: They win or It’s a 0-0 draw. 1-1 draw takes it to extra-time.
Real Madrid progress if: They win or draw 2-2. 1-1 takes it to extra-time
KEY MATCH POINTS
Chelsea are unbeaten against Real Madrid in 4 previous meetings (W2 D2)
Real Madrid are winless in their last four away games against English sides in the Champions League (D2 L2), scoring only two goals across the four games
Chelsea have progressed from 5 of their last 7 knockout ties in the Champions League when avoiding defeat away from home in the first leg
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is looking to secure his fourth progression in four Champions League semi-final ties, which would equal the record for most semi-final tie progressions by a manager in competition history
Real Madrid could seal their place in a 17th European Cup/Champions League final, with their current total of 16 already being the most of any team
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has scored 71 goals in the Champions League and could become the outright fourth top scorer in the competition’s history if he scores in this game, overtaking Raúl (71).