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Real Madrid and Chelsea is the first meeting of ex-Super League powers in the Champions League and for that very reason, they should be made to play out this two-legged affair in front of an angry crowd with cabbages and warmed-up vocal chords.
But, with that seeming like an unlikely scenario, I suppose we’ll all just tune in and shake our fists at the television for the first 10 minutes in protest. Now with that out of the way, let’s stop and think about this game of football as a meeting of Europe’s footballing superpowers.
Interestingly, Real Madrid who were out of the title race six weeks ago are now firmly back in the picture alongside arch rivals Barcelona, and combining that with their clear disinterest in UEFA’s crown jewel, you just don’t know where their heads are at coming into this tie.
It’s funny how the oligarch-owned, football capitalism poster boys of Chelsea are now the good guys in a European tie, but that’s how it’s panned out. And while most of us will never truly reach that level of wealth, we may as well make a few quid off of their money-throwing exercise while we can. Here is a Bet Builder for you to hopefully grab your share.
I’m not being cheeky here – Chelsea are just a better side than Madrid are at this moment, and I’d probably suggest The Blues are most likely to win the Premier League next year regardless of what Liverpool do to bounce back.
Tuesday 20:00 – Real Madrid v Chelsea
BT Sport 2
If this is the game that finally makes others see it, then so be it – and while I contemplated the security of double chance, it’s really not how Tuchel approaches European ties. They’ll want to make the second leg easier than the first and the best way to do that is by stacking up away goals to beat the band. This is certainly where the value is.
Madrid don’t take gradual approaches to two-legged ties either. And when you’ve two sides who both want to put a tie to bed early, you end up with midfield being bypassed with gusto.
That usually translates to goals and it should probably be the default selection anyway, despite the fact the overs bet is odds-against at time of writing.
If Chelsea do have a weakness, it’s balls into the box as their three defenders are still working out the spacing. Their next big splash in the transfer market will be a high-upside centre half from the continent, much like Liverpool’s approach with Ibrahima Konaté.
It could be Benzema that shows the board they’re still a top-end defender away from favouritism domestically in 2021/22.
Chelsea haven’t scored their first goal of a Premier League game in the second half in any of their last eight match-ups.
When they’re on it, they’re on it early and that’s been a blueprint of Tuchel’s implementation – bringing Chelsea away from the uncertainty of indifferent performances and forcing them right into high tempo play from the first whistle. That won’t change in Madrid.
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