Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel faces a daunting team selection against Real Madrid on Tuesday as the Blues aim to pull back a two-goal deficit at the Bernabeu. Romelu Lukaku is set to miss the tie through injury but that does not necessarily mean that Timo Werner will get the nod, despite scoring twice last time out against Southampton.
Goalkeeper – Mendy
Edouard Mendy was directly at fault for Karim Benzema’s third goal when Los Blancos won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last week. The Senegalese stopper may be feeling more pressure than usual since joining the Blues in 2020, particularly with back-up option Kepa Arrizabalaga carrying himself well when called upon this season.
Still, a bump in the road is unlikely to see Tuchel make a hasty change between the sticks and Mendy has proven himself to be a capable and reliable shot-stopper who, ultimately, was integral to their Champions League triumph last term.
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Attack – Mount, Havertz, Pulisic
Kai Havertz has proven himself to be Tuchel’s most consistently reliable option through the middle, and after netting against Southampton his spot in the side is presumed safe. The same goes for Mason Mount who scored twice against the Saints to take this season’s goal tally into double figures.
Christian Pulisic versus Hakim Ziyech on the opposing flank remains a tough call as both emerged from the bench on Saturday, but the former may edge into the team thanks to his direct goal threat.
Werner scored twice against Southampton but Tuchel was hesitant to shower him with too much praise amid another goal-shy campaign, suggesting that he may not be entrusted to claw back the deficit in Madrid despite Lukaku’s injury absence given his ability to miss multiple chances. Chelsea will need to be clinical to make the semi-finals.