Friday, December 2, 2022

Two Things Zidane Must Do To Ensure A Real Madrid Victory Against Chelsea

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Real Madrid will be locking horns with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side at the Alfredo de Stefano Stadium on Tuesday evening. The first leg in this UEFA Champions League semi-final clash will be a huge deciding factor in determining the team that will progress to the Final of the coveted tournament.

Real Madrid topped their Champions League group before facing Atalanta and Liverpool in the latter stages of the competition. This European trophy seems like Real Madrid’s best shot at winning some sort of silverware this season with the Primera Division being narrowly contested by Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona.

Chelsea too topped their group before getting the better of Atletico Madrid and Porto in the knockout stages of the competition. It will be interesting to see which team emerge on top after the conclusion of the 180 minutes of scheduled footballing action. The 4th Official lists out the challenges that Zidane will need to overcome in order to ensure a Real Madrid victory –

Real Madrid Vs Chelsea In The Champions League

Real Madrid Vs Chelsea In The Champions League
Liverpool, England, 14th April 2021. Real Madrid players celebrate the win during the UEFA Champions League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Darren

Formation & Tactics

Zinedine Zidane has constantly switched between three at the back and four at the back formation and it has delivered mixed results in all honesty. In a Champions League semi-final, it will be fundamentally important for Zidane to get his formation right against a Chelsea side that has looked in red hot form since Thomas Tuchel has taken over.

Tactically Real Madrid’s driving force this season has been the midfield. The trident of Casemiro, Kroos, and Modric have stepped up and delivered the goods for the French gaffer time and again. The Blues will be well aware of this fact and will seek to cut down on the amount of time the trio has possession of the ball. Chelsea could press Real Madrid inside their own half and it will be up to Zidane’s sharp mind to manoeuvre a way out of it.

Team Selection

The return of Eden Hazard from injury has been more than welcomed by the Real Madrid faithful. However, it is a huge gamble putting in Hazard in the starting eleven with just about 15 minutes under his belt since January. On the contrary, Vinicius Jr has been in sizzling hot form, particularly in the UEFA Champions League. It will not be surprising to see the young Brazilian get the nod for the clash ahead of Hazard, who has all the years of experience under his belt.

Another important selection dilemma that Zidane might face would be in the defensive line. Ferland Mendy, who has been the first choice left-back all season long, is currently out injured. Therefore Zidane has to choose between the attack-minded Marcelo and the conservative defender, Nacho Fernandez. Chelsea’s squad bolsters one of the most prominent attacks in Europe and it will be a huge gamble to put Marcelo in the left-back position. On their day, Chelsea’s Ziyech, Werner and Giroud can run riot on any defence in the world. With the first leg scheduled at the Alfredo de Stefano Stadium, Real Madrid would want to concede the least amount of away goals as possible.

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