It's matchday two in the Champions League semifinals, and here are our bets ahead of Chelsea vs Real Madrid.
📝 Match facts
- Under 2.5 goals have been scored in 20 of Chelsea’s last 23 fixtures.
- Under 2.5 goals have been produced in five of Real Madrid’s last six matches.
- Real Madrid are unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions.
- Chelsea have failed to win three of their last four home games.
Chelsea’s slight advantage
Chelsea were singing in the rain in Madrid last week thanks to a disciplined effort, a draw, and an away goal, and if the Blues can withstand the storm in Wednesday's semi-final second-leg, a spot in the Champions League final awaits.
Chelsea has been a formidable defensive force under Thomas Tuchel, and their defensive prowess was on display in the first-leg tie in Spain, where the Blues limited Real Madrid to just nine attempts and a single goal at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Tuchel rested main first-leg performers N'Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic, Jorginho, and Cesar Azpilicueta in Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Fulham at the weekend, so the Blues should be able to run the hard yards against Real once more.
Real need a spark
In the first leg against Chelsea, Real Madrid seemed alarmingly subdued, and much of their attacking play lacked dynamism and pace.
Indeed, Zinedine Zidane's side toiled for long stretches over the weekend before striking late to defeat Osasuna in Madrid, where former Chelsea star Eden Hazard was given a chance to shine before Wednesday's match.
However, the Belgian schemer was unsuccessful and was subbed off in the second half, and he is likely to return to the Champions League bench.
Expect a tight game in London
Chelsea may set up to stifle again on Wednesday, with an away goal to defend and a defensive strategy that has been producing excellent results for Thomas Tuchel. As a result, a game with little chances could evolve.
Under 2.5 goals have been scored in 20 of Chelsea's 23 games under Tuchel, and the same market appeals as the Blues face a Real Madrid side lacking in spark.
However, our 1-1 correct score forecast suggests that Los Blancos will ultimately force extra time. Zinedine Zidane's tenacious side never gets the adrenaline pumping, despite their unparalleled big-game experience.
Real haven't lost in their last 19 games, including meeting Atletico Madrid, Atalanta (twice), Liverpool (twice), Barcelona, and, of course, Chelsea, during that period, and their high-level expertise could help them drive the semi-final second leg all the way to the end.
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