Although Chelsea hold a slender advantage before the second leg of their semi-final, they saw the danger of switching off at this level when they drew 1-1 in Spain last week. Tuchel’s side controlled the majority of the first half and were in a strong position after a potentially crucial away goal from Christian Pulisic, only for Karim Benzema’s sharp equaliser to keep the tie in the balance.“The club demands that we win any game, no matter who’s on the other side of the pitch,” he said.
“This is what sharpens the mentality and this is our big strength: that we arrive as a team that is used to this pressure. This is a good pressure because if you make things too big then it helps nobody and it devalues your performance in any other game.”Although a goalless draw would send Chelsea through, Tuchel is adamant that he will not try to be too clever with his tactics. “We have no other way to prepare than to encourage my team to try to win,” he said. “If we are at our best then it’s a no-brainer that we go for the win.
“This club is about winning. This game is about winning, this competition is about winning. Forget the first-leg result; it’s not as important as everyone thinks. It’s got zero importance in preparation for this match. We will demand from them to be as strong as possible from tomorrow from 8pm. The group has one goal: to overcome Real Madrid.”Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis, Nielsen’s Gracenote: “Chelsea are still the underdogs to reach the Champions League final. This is due to a combination of Real Madrid’s higher ranking (fourth as opposed to Chelsea’s ninth) on our Euro Club Index (www.euroclubindex.com) and reduced home advantage for the Blues because of the lack of spectators at Stamford Bridge for the second leg.
Mateo Kovacic remains sidelined for Chelsea, having picked up an injury ahead of the quarter-final win over Porto, but the rest of the squad will be fit.Antonio Rudiger is available after missing out on Saturday’s 2-0 win at Fulham with a facial injury and is set to wear a protective mask if he plays.
NAME: Chelsea – Real Madrid
DATE: 5 May 2021
TIME: 19:00 UTC
VENUE: Stamford Bridge, London, England