It’ll be an extremely difficult task should Chelsea win against the odds at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid in the second-leg. Chelsea reacted after the disappointing first-leg of the quarter-final with a comfortable 6-0 win against Southampton on Saturday. Meanwhile, Real Madrid continued their winning ways with a 2-0 win over Getafe in La Liga.
Here are three Chelsea players you should look out for, who we think will be of huge importance at the Bernabeu tomorrow.
Thiago Silva’s experience is needed against Real Madrid
Arguably Chelsea’s POTS, Thiago Silva has been of huge importance to Tuchel and the team this season. His composure, ball-playing ability, experience and defensive awareness has been evidently important to Chelsea this season.
The importance of Thiago Silva is emphasised through his 25 appearances in the league this season as well as numerous starts in cup competitions.
Thiago Silva was subbed off in the thrashing against Southampton, suggesting the 37 year-old will start against Real Madrid. This will be another huge game where his leadership qualities and presence will be needed up against the likes of Karim Benzema, if Chelsea are to pull off the unexpected against Ancelotti’s Real Madrid tomorrow.
Reece James’ importance and balance in defensive and offensive scenarios
Reece James has been one of the few players heavily missed by Chelsea this season with a lengthy injury resulting in his absence on the pitch for more than several matches.
His quality on the pitch before and pre injury has been nothing short of spectacular. Composure, physical prowess, technical ability, movement off the ball. It is quite a challenge to name one weakness of Reece James’ overall game.
Chelsea’s chances of beating Real Madrid and advancing to the Semi-Finals will be hugely increased should Reece James start. Tuchel is likely to go with the back three, meaning James will feature at right wing-back where he was excelled this season for Chelsea.
Although, he will face another huge test on the big stage up against Vinicius’ pace and dynamism.
Mateo Kovačić’s technical quality vital to Chelsea’s midfield
The Croatian made a noticeable difference to the intensity and approach play in Chelsea’s attacks against Real Madrid in the first leg when he was subbed on in the first half.
Against Southampton last Saturday, Kovacic made more attacking third passes (24/30), completed more dribbles (2/4), won more ground duels (9/11) and made more tackles (7) than any other Chelsea player.
The midfield pivot of Kante and Jorginho last season in the Champions League was vital for midfield control and dominance but haven’t been as effective this season. Kovacic’s ability to glide across the pitch and break lines in tight spaces is something that no other midfielder at the club offers.
Another player who has a good shout for Chelsea’s POTS this season; it will come as a surprise to Chelsea fans if Kovacic doesn’t feature against Madrid in the second leg.
His importance to the team can simply not be underestimated.
Written by Vikram Jajuha (@CFCVik)
Edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)
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