Real Madrid have work to do at the Stamford Bridge if they are to book a second Champions League final berth in four seasons.
Real Madrid are back in Champions League action after seeing off Osasuna at the weekend and keeping their La Liga campaign alive. The Whites face Chelsea in the semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, a week after playing out a 1-1 draw on their own patch.
Zinedine Zidane welcomes back Federico Valverde, Ferland Mendy and Sergio Ramos for this clash, whereas Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois will also be counted upon, for their first visit to west London since leaving the club two and three years ago, respectively.
Courtois will keep his place in goal. The Belgian has kept successive away clean sheets in the European Cup and will look to keep his former side at bay on Wednesday.
Raphael Varane is injured and will miss this clash, but Ramos will return to the starting eleven. The Spaniard has played just 125 minutes for the Merengues this season but will captain his side on their first ever visit to Chelsea. Eder Militao, a man basking in fine form will partner Ramos in the heart of defence.
Mendy will return to the left-back role and that will be a major boost for Real Madrid from Marcelo, who has visibly deteriorated in quality. Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez remain out for this clash, so Nacho Fernandez will start at right-back, ahead of Alvaro Odriozola.
Casemiro is an essential for Los Blancos from a defensive viewpoint and the Brazilian will start at defensive midfield as well. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos will return to the starting eleven, having rested for the entirety of the weekend’s victory over Osasuna.
Federico Valverde’s everlasting energy was missed by Real Madrid in the first leg, but the Uruguayan will return to the eleven as well. He will play in the unconventional yet familiar position of a right winger, at the expense of Marco Asensio.
Eden Hazard will start against his former side and is expected to be the creative spark for the visitors. The Belgian will hope to turn his Real Madrid career for good when he faces his former side in perhaps the season’s biggest fixture for the Whites.
Karim Benzema will lead the line. He has scored 28 times this season and scored the vital equaliser last week at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium. With the Merengues needing an away goal, they will look to Benzema to be at his best once more.
Do you think Real Madrid will be able to book their place in the Champions League final?