Chelsea look primed to reach the Champions League final for the first time since 2012 ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final second leg tie with Real Madrid.
Manchester City built on a first-leg advantage to see off Paris Saint-Germain at the Etihad on Tuesday and Chelsea will attempt to make it an all-Premier League affair in the final.
Chelsea earned a 1-1 draw at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium last week and that away goal, scored by Christian Pulisic, puts them in a strong position for the return in west London.
Chelsea Can Send Spanish Giants Packing
Real Madrid are chasing a 14th Champions League title but they face a serious test in trying to overcome Chelsea.
The Blues have taken huge strides forward since Thomas Tuchel, who led Paris Saint-Germain to the final last season, took charge in January.
Tuchel has 15 wins and just two defeats in all competitions in his 23 games in charge so far.
Interestingly, both of those defeats have come on home soil, losing 5-2 against West Brom and going down 1-0 in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Porto.
But they have won seven of 12 home fixtures with Tuchel at the helm and offer plenty of value at
6/5 to come out on top against Los Blancos.
History also suggests that Chelsea will prevail after progressing from five of their past seven knockout ties when avoiding defeat away from home in the first leg, while Tuchel has only lost four of his 18 home fixtures as a manager in the Champions League.
Defences on Top In Second Leg Tie
One notable change at Chelsea under the tutelage of Tuchel has been a huge improvement defensively, keeping 17 clean sheets.
Real Madrid, who made a poor start to 2020-21, have also tightened up at the back over recent months and they boast five shutouts from their last six outings.
With the tie finely balanced at 1-1, Chelsea can of course progress courtesy of a goalless draw and Real will know that just one goal could be enough to see them advance to a record 17th major European final.
Unlike Tuesday’s clash between City and PSG, this encounter looks set to be a much more cagey affair.
Backing under 2.5 goals, which is available at
4/5 looks the way to go.
That bet would have landed in 20 of the 23 games with Tuchel in charge and likewise five times in Real’s last six fixtures across all competitions.
Returning Ramos to See Red
Real Madrid were without captain Sergio Ramos for the first leg but Zinedine Zidane has confirmed the Spain international will play on Wednesday.
Ramos’ return further strengthens the argument that this could be a tight game with his leadership likely to be to the visitors’ hopes.
The 35-year-old hasn’t featured for Los Blancos since March 16 when he scored to help his side earn a 3-1 win over Atalanta in the last-16.
Zidane has played down concerns over his fitness, claiming that he isn’t “taking any risks” but the veteran defender is likely to be tested.
He’s no stranger to overstepping the mark and is priced at
5/4 to be booked by Italian referee Daniele Orsato.
If the game starts to get away from Real, Ramos could allow his passion and frustration to take over and he looks like a prime candidate to receive a yellow.
*All odds correct at time of writing