Rudiger and Benzema, two of the banners of Chelsea and Real Madrid // AFP
Photo: AFP Agency
Real Madrid visits Chelsea on Wednesday in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, in what is shaping up to be a rematch of last year’s semi-finals won by the English.
The Merengue team drew 1-1 in the first leg, but lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, giving Chelsea the pass to the final, which would finally end up lifting the continental trophy by beating Manchester City in the final.
The English team is presented as an important obstacle for the merengues’ aspirations, although it is not at its best moment trapped in the extra-sports tensions derived from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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“Last year he was playing very well, this year with the situation it may be costing him a little more, but it is a good team with good players, very deep,” the goalkeeper warned on Tuesday. Real MadridThibaut Courtois.
Put up for sale by the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, after the sanctions for the invasion in Ukraine, Chelsea try to forget about these problems on the pitch.
“We hear about what’s going on and we try to follow it, but now it’s the Real Madrid tomorrow, and then the only thing that will count is the next game,” winger Christian Pulisic said on Tuesday.
“So far the boys have managed this very well, they have done a great job and I don’t think this is going to change between now and the end of the season,” he added.
Third classified in the English league, thirteen points behind the second, Liverpool, the blue team receives Real Madrid after their unexpected defeat to Brentford 4-1 at home.
The match against the meringues should serve to make him forget this stumble, which does not tarnish his good career in Europe.
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In the second round of the Champions League, Chelsea prevailed by a resounding 4-1 on aggregate against French Lille, a real warning for the white team, who got into the quarterfinals appealing to the epic against Paris Saint-Germain.
The meringues lost 1-0 in the first leg in the French capital and came back in the return leg at the Bernabéu to end up winning 3-1.
An injection of morale ahead of the complicated match at Stamford Bridge, which is also presented as a way to leave behind the setback suffered with Barcelona 4-0 in LaLiga.
The defeat in the classic was a slowdown for the career of the Real Madridwho continue to lead the Spanish championship with eight games to go with their 2-1 victory over Celta on Saturday.
Ancelotti negative for COVID-19
The merengue team goes to London with their available strong men, after having taken advantage of the national team break to recover the injured Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy.
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The return of Benzema, author of a brace in Vigo, is crucial for the meringues, who have their best scorer in the Frenchman with 34 goals and 13 assists in 35 games.
The French striker is also the third best scorer in the Champions League tied on eight goals with Mohamed Salah, both behind Bayern Munich players Robert Lewandowski with 12 and Ajax Sebastien Haller (11).
“He has been playing for I don’t know how many years as number 9 of the Real MadridThat says it all,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said of the Frenchman.
Benzema will once again be assisted at Stamford Bridge by the young Brazilian Vinicius, the second best merengue scorer.
Real Madrid He was in doubt as to whether he will be able to count on his coach Carlos Ancelotti due to COVID-19. However, the Italian tested negative and will be in London.
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