UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals Team Preview: Chelsea

Having to face Real Madrid for the 4th time, Thomas Tuchel’s tactics and implementation could play the key in deciding the game against the Los Blancos.
Yaksh Author

Updated - 20 April 2021 9:21 am

UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals Team Preview: Chelsea

It would be safe to say that Chelsea have looked like a completely different side under new manager Thomas Tuchel. Even though they lost their Champions League second-leg game against FC Porto, their performance in the first leg ensured their semi-final spot for the record 8th time.

Having to face Real Madrid for the 4th time, Thomas Tuchel’s tactics and strategies against the Los Blancos could play the key in deciding the game. Notably, Chelsea’s manager Tuchel has faced Real Madrid more often without losing in the UEFA Champions League than any other opponent in the tournament’s history. 

Player to Watch out for 

Mason Mount became an extensive figure in the Starting XI under former coach Frank Lampard. But his abilities seemed to have enhanced ever since Tuchel took over.  

Another player, who could be play a pivotal role, is Timo Werner. Although the German striker hasn’t returned to the best of his form yet, he has started playing more centrally, which gives him the freedom to slide down the left wing whenever he wants. This was Werner’s secret of success during his successful RB Leipzig stint. 

Recent Form 

Talking about the last 5 encounters Chelsea have played, they have fetched a victory against Manchester City and Crystal Palace in the domestic league in exquisite fashion. But there have been concerns with their poor game-play against West Bromwich, which ended in a humiliating 5-2 defeat at home. In the 5 recent games, Chelsea hold a record of 3 wins and two losses. 

How can Chelsea triumph over Real Madrid? 

Real Madrid already has majority of players, who have the experience of playing in high-stake European games and have already won the Champions League couple of times. On the other hand, Chelsea has a relatively young and inexperienced side, who have undeniably got to the semi-final with relative ease, which is a feast in itself.  

Chelsea faced La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16, wherein they dominated both the legs and came out with a 3-0 aggregate victory. 

Given that both these sides have the same playing blueprint, they tend to hold onto the possession and build their attack from the back and through the flanks more often than not. So how can Chelsea beat Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid? 

To put it in the simplest words, Chelsea has a good and energetic team. However, Thomas Tuchel hasn’t yet found the right combinations for the big games. To get past Real Madrid, Chelsea need to get every tactic spot on to prevent Real’s vastly-experienced midfield from dominating them. For that, they should opt for players who can link up with one another and work their way from the flanks and expose Real Madrid. With the likes of Dani Carvajal out, Chelsea could expose Madrid’s weakness by utilising their speedy wing backs and skillful wingers.  

With N’ Golo Kante leading the side from midfield, it would be interesting to see how the Chelsea Interception (55) and Tackles (71) leader fares against Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Kai Havertz is another young sensation, who could trouble the Los Blancos veterans with his pace. 

Against a side like Real Madrid, Chelsea’ s chances to progress would really be tough. So they need to stamp their authority throughout the 180 minutes to propel into the Champions League final.