Chelsea will require one of their greatest ever European performances if they are to overhaul a two-goal UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarter-final deficit to Real Madrid.
At the weekend, manager Frank Lampard described Saturday’s lacklustre 2-1 defeat to Brighton as “not a Chelsea performance” which would be far from encouraging as they look to end a run of six winless competitive results (D2, L4)!
Last week’s 2-0 defeat at the Bernabéu left them struggling to save their season with a run to UCL glory, as interim boss Lampard bids to emulate Roberto Di Matteo’s feat of 2011/12.
He doesn’t have to look back far for inspiration as even his predecessor Graham Potter oversaw Chelsea winning the second leg of their Round of 16 game to progress against Borussia Dortmund despite losing 1-0 on the road.
That should ensure Madrid travel with no hint of complacency, even if they are in fine fettle following their comfortable first leg win.
With a 36th La Liga title seemingly out of reach, they were able to rest players against Cádiz on Saturday (W 2-0).
However, they could be sweating on the fitness of key men Toni Kroos and Vinícius Júnior, both of whom were injury absentees.
With last month’s remarkable 5-2 win over Liverpool fresh in their memory, Los Blancos have now won three of their last four clashes with English clubs outside of Spain (L1) including last season’s 3-1 victory here.
So don’t expect the reigning champions to hold back after they netted in each of their last seven UCL fixtures on foreign soil (W4, D1, L2).
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