Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Wednesday 12th April 2023
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
As part of our Champions League predictions, we take a look at the first leg of the quarter final tie between Real Madrid and Chelsea. Chelsea come here with their 3rd coach of the season and 5 wins from 19 since the restart – can they get anything here? Read on with our Real Madrid vs Chelsea prediction.
Real Madrid vs Chelsea Match Preview
Real Madrid come into this match off the back of a 3-2 home defeat against Villarreal, and in doing so rested several key players – perhaps in recognition of the fact that Barcelona may already be out of sight. Ironically, Ancelotti’s men dismantled Xavi’s Barcelona side 4-0 in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg to reach yet another cup final. This formidable reputation they have as a superb cup team was crystallised even further by such a comprehensive victory against a reformed Barca side, and with La Liga likely gone and the club not in any serious danger of not making next season’s Champions League, we expect the Champions League will once again have their full attention.
It may seem like a strange thing to say, but even though Real Madrid found themselves 2-0 down in the cauldron of Anfield within 15 minutes in their round of 16 first-leg clash against Liverpool, the game never really felt beyond them in the sense that Liverpool have been struggling for consistency all season and are usually vulnerable in both midfield and the fullback positions. Therefore, when they forced their way back into the match and proceeded to dominate their opponents, there was an air of inevitability about it. At the Bernabeu, a more controlled and sedate performance followed in the form of a 1-0 victory where their opponents did very little to suggest they could get back into the tie.
Chelsea have lurched from crisis to crisis this season, and consequently find themselves in 11th position in the Premier League, 17 points behind 4th-placed Manchester United in the race for Champions League qualification. It’s possible that the West London side can qualify for the Europa League or Conference League, but notwithstanding a massive improvement in form, it’s doubtful that Chelsea will play any European football at all next season. While we want to be careful and respect that Chelsea remain in the Champions League, on current form it’s extremely unlikely that they will qualify for next season’s edition by virtue of winning it.
Under the previous coach Graham Potter, Chelsea produced one of their best performances of the season to turn their Champions League tie with Dortmund on its head. There were signs of Chelsea’s capability to do so in the first leg in Germany, as they created the better chances overall and could be considered to be unfortunate not to enter halftime with a one or even two-goal lead. Generally speaking, their Champions League form has been better than their domestic form, particularly at home. Lampard’s men will be hoping to return to Stamford Bridge with any kind of positive result including a narrow defeat.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Mendy
Will Not Play:
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Aubameyang, Badiashile, Broja, Chukwuemeka, Madueke
Real Madrid vs Chelsea Lineups (Predicted)
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Alaba, Rudiger, Militao, Carvajal; Valverde, Kroos, Modric; Vinicius Jr., Rodrygo, Benzema
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Cucurella, Koulibaly, Silva, James; Kante, Fernandez, Kovacic; Sterling, Joao Felix, Havertz
Real Madrid vs Chelsea Analysis
Real Can Hurt Any Team Without Dominating Possession
In both their 5-2 demolition of Liverpool from 2-0 down at Anfield and their 4-0 away victory at Camp Nou in the Copa del Rey, it may surprise a few of you to learn that they didn’t have more of the ball than their opponents. Generally speaking, Real play a more direct version of passing football and look for efficiency and killer passes as opposed to any great measure of control. In fact, this helps them enormously against the top-tier sides as they often play into Real’s hands by playing with a high defensive line or alternatively, dropping off too deep against them.
The real quality of this Real Madrid side rests with the players. That might seem like a truism, but with that individual quality, they’re able to hurt the opposition in different ways which makes opposition players and managers second guess themselves. This is why, contrary to popular opinion, they didn’t fluke another Champions League victory last season – they’re simply able to go about their business and create clear opportunities under enormous pressure. They’ve done it so many times now that it can’t merely be attributed to good fortune.
This isn’t to say that this Real Madrid side is invincible – of course, they aren’t. If they were, they’d also be dominating domestically. Rather, it’s the dynamic of a cup tie which elevates the importance of goal threat rather than control. In the league, a few results against the run of play isn’t the end of the world, but in the Champions League, it can be. It’s certainly possible to win the Champions League with a rigid tactical system, possession-based football and an ultra-high defensive line – Barcelona achieved it under Guardiola and Luis Enrique – but since then, the competition has been won by Real Madrid (4), Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Chelsea Can’t Buy a Goal
This isn’t to say that Chelsea are lucky to be at this stage – they deservedly knocked out Borussia Dortmund, but in the interim period their form has fallen off a cliff and they look truly lost. Chelsea’s mini-revival under previous manager Graham Potter was cut short by two Everton equalisers at Stamford Bridge, and since then they’ve failed to score and parted ways with the former Brighton man. They were perhaps unfortunate against Liverpool having dominated the match and had the ball in the back of the net twice only to be ruled out by VAR, but actual goals scored are what count obviously.
Their 1-0 away defeat to Wolves was the 10th occasion in which Chelsea have failed to score away from home this season – a remarkable statistic. Real Madrid aren’t known for being a hugely solid team defensively – they can be cavalier at times – but when they want or need to they are capable of shutting up shop for periods of the match. It will be difficult for Chelsea in their current form to create the clear chances they need to get a positive result to take back to Stamford Bridge.
Kai Havertz is a gifted forward but lacked any real support on the weekend as Raheem Sterling and Joao Felix both failed to have any real impact on the match. In Sterling’s case, it can perhaps be attributed to rustiness, but there didn’t seem to be any real purpose in their forward play and they looked like strangers for much of the match. We expect that Sterling will be given another opportunity today because he’s one of Lampard’s favourites – this isn’t to suggest that he’s unworthy of selection, more that the former City man has suffered with injuries and been in and out of the team lately.
Unless Chelsea somehow raise their performance levels significantly, we can only see one winner here. Chelsea have offered very little in front of goal for large parts of this campaign, and it’s unlikely that they will suddenly start to produce in the Bernabeu. Real will be confident they can nullify Chelsea’s forward line without sacrificing too much ambition, and we expect them to dominate the match in terms of chances created as they possess the better creative midfielders to accompany their deadly attacking trio of Benzema, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo.
Chelsea have some fine midfielders of their own of course, but less of a functioning forward line to work with so we expect they can perhaps hold their own in terms of ball possession but ultimately not in actual goal threat. Real will come again and again and see this match out comfortably.
Real Madrid 3-0 Chelsea
Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Real Madrid Odds:
10Bet – 50% up to £50 Welcome Bonus
Sport is our life at 10bet. We don’t miss a shot, stroke or tackle, and we make sure you won’t too. We cover football betting, horse racing betting, tennis betting, cricket betting, basketball betting, and so much more. But if greyhounds or Gaelic hurling is your thing, you’ll find that here too.
Luckland Sports – Welcome Offer, Bet £15 Get £10
Sports Betting at Its Best
Luckland online Sports betting is for all Sports fans. With over 20 Sports to choose from, both pre-match & live, we have an extensive coverage of leagues and events from all over the world, covered 24/7.
Everygame (USA and Canada) – Exclusive Sign-Up Bonuses
Everygame was the first online sportsbook to hit the world wide web and paved the way for many of the online sportsbooks we see online today. Thousands of daily live betting options. Up to $750 Sign-Up Bonus!