Real Madrid vs Chelsea news: Champions League holders have big task to win quarter-final

Chelsea have it all to do to make the Champions League semi-finals as they travel to Real Madrid after losing 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg.

Travelling to the Bernabeu and overturning a 3-1 deficit is a massive ask for Thomas Tuchel and his Chelsea side.

Not many would expect the Blues to reign in Spain on Tuesday night and make the Champions League semi-finals, but don't bet against them.

Six goals at Southampton, Timo Werner looking in very lively form, and Tuchel fired up like a man on a mission to get his hands on the trophy they won 11 months ago. Anything's possible.

Chelsea may have to keep Karim Benzema in their back pocket after his hat-trick in London though, and may have wished their hosts had a tougher build-game game after they brushed Getafe aside at the weekend. They've also won six of their last seven Champions League games. 

When: Tuesday 12 April, 20:00 BST

Where: Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

How to watch: BT Sport 2

Follow this game via our score centre

Polish referee Szymon Marciniak

Who is the referee for Real Madrid vs Chelsea

Szymon Marciniak has been given the opportunity to shine on one of football's finest stages for two of the sport's greatest teams.

Marciniak is one of Poland's most highly-respected match officials and was once a lively midfielder with Polish top-flight club Wisla Plock and was, in his own words, "a difficult player to referee".

The Real and Chelsea players will need to be on their best behaviour with Marciniak having sent off two players in his last four games - one in the Europa Conference League, plus a player in a Polish league game.

Marciniak averages 4.25 cards per match. He has never refereed Chelsea, but he was an assistant VAR at the 2019 Europa League final when the Blues beat Arsenal 4-1.

He has taken charge of five Real matches. The most recent game was earlier this season when Real won 3-0 at Sheriff.

Games refereed by Szymon Marciniak in 2021/22

Games (32), yellow cards (134), red cards (4)

Recent form

Chelsea's 3-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid came on the back of a shocking 4-1 loss against Brentford at Stamford Bridge as well. It's been an eventful few weeks for the club on and off the pitch with their impending sale from owner Roman Abramovich.

Before those two defeats, Thomas Tuchel's side had racked up eight wins and nine in all competitions and were pushing Man City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. Six goals at Southampton has got them bouncing again.

Nobody would have predicted a 4-0 drubbing at the Bernabeu against arch-rivals Barcelona at the end of March. But that result aside, Carlo Ancelotti's side have won eight games in the last nine. They lead Barca and Sevilla in La Liga by 12 points.

Players in form

With Romelu Lukaku out injured and off form, Tuchel will have been desperate for his Chelsea strikeforce to start firing. Mason Mount scored a double and produced fireworks all afternoon from midfield against the Saints on Saturday.

And one player who's had his knockers seems to be coming good at the right time. The German's been scoring for his country and now his club, finally. A brace on the south coast along with peppering the woodwork several times is a sign of a man who means business.

Real Madrid have the spine in their team in fab form. Thibaut Courtois between the sticks, Casemiro pushing forward and patrolling in midfield, and there's the energy and trickery of Luka Modric.

And let's not forget Karim Benzema. Ancelotti says he's "better every day, like wine". Who can argue after his sublime hat-trick at Stamford Bridge. He didn't score at the weekend, but before then he'd notched 10 goals in seven games.

Past meetings

Less than a week ago Chelsea's hopes of defending their Champions League crown all but evaporated thanks to the heading of Benzema in a 3-1 defeat.

Chelsea have the edge in the head-to-heads, though. Three wins and two draws in six matches.

Only last season the Blues held Real to a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu and then won 2-0 at home in the Champions League semi-final.

We then have to go back to 1998 when Chelsea won 1-0 in the European Super Cup. Before that was a two-legged affair in 1971 in the European Cup Winners Cup.    

Managers' thoughts

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

"It is one of the biggest challenges to perform away at the Bernabeu," Thomas Tuchel said ahead of the visit to Spain. "It is even more difficult if you have to earn a certain result, if you need to win with a minimum of two goals or better or maybe a three-goal difference.

"That makes it almost impossible and very, very difficult, but still it is worth trying. We need nothing else than a fantastic script that we want to be able to overcome this."

Asked about Tuchel's claim that Chelsea's Champions League tie was already over, Carlo Ancelotti said on Monday: "I don't know, everyone has their opinion.

"Chelsea are coming to fight and qualify. They know very well that it is difficult but they are going to try, that is the spirit of football, of big clubs that never give up."

Predicted teams

Real Madrid centre-back Eder Militao is suspended and former Blue Eden Hazard is still injured but striker Luka Jovic is available again.

Ferland Mendy is likely to return and replace Marcelo at left-back, while Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will be raring to go after a rest on the bench watching their team beat Getafe at the weekend.

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Nacho, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius Jr

Thiago Silva looking to give Chelsea a European lift

Chelsea have ongoing fitness concerns with Ben Chilwell still out, alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has suffered a setback in his recovery from an Achilles problem.

Romelu Lukaku misses the trip (Achilles) but theree's better news on Cesar Azpilicueta who's tested negative for Covid. Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Thiago Silva came off early at Southampton. Will Timo Werner's grand display see him chosen ahead of Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic? We shall see...

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kovacic, Kante, Alonso; Ziyech, Mount; Havertz

Real Madrid vs Chelsea prediction

Could Karim Benzema grab the headlines again?

Think this is going to be a drab 0-0? Don't think so. Tuchel is not going to leave this contest without a fight and his side have rediscovered their form in front of goal.

At least one goal, probably two, from the visitors. BUT....they need two to just get back into this game and if they're a little too cavalier in front of the vociferous Real fans they could be suspect at the back - especially if a French striker has anything to do with it.  

And if they keep Karim Benzema quiet, there's Vinicius Jr to think about. Chelsea won't go without a bang but it's unlikely to be anything but a return to the semi-finals for Carlo Ancelotti's boys.  

READ MORE: This is one of my biggest challenges, says Thomas Tuchel ahead of Madrid task

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