Sergio Ramos ought to return in place of the injured Raphael Varane while Eden Hazard should start when Real Madrid face Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid will be aiming to make it through to the finals of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League when they face off against Chelsea in the second leg of their semi-final tie at Stamford Bridge this Wednesday.
Leading into the game, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has been greeted with mixed news on the injury front. While captain Sergio Ramos, Federico Valverde and Ferland Mendy are fit and available for selection, defensive mainstay Raphael Varane misses out after getting injured in the 2-0 win over CA Osasuna at the weekend. He joins Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal out on the sidelines.
Speaking of Ramos in his pre-match press conference, Zidane said, “He’s here with us and that means that he’s fine. That’s the most important thing for us. We’ve got our leader and our captain with us. I won’t be taking any risks with him. He is here with us and that means that he’s ready to play.”
With Varane ruled out, Ramos should walk right back into the starting XI, pairing up alongside Eder Militao at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. Nacho, who did not start against Osasuna, ought to replace Alvaro Odriozola at right-back while the returning Mendy should get the nod over Marcelo on the opposite flank. Former Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois will be manning the goal for Real Madrid.
Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were both rested for the weekend La Liga encounter keeping in mind Wednesday’s trip to Stamford Bridge. The veteran midfielders ought to return to the starting XI against Chelsea. Casemiro, meanwhile, will hold on to his spot at the base of the Real Madrid midfield as usual.
All eyes, though, will be on the selection a certain Eden Hazard as he gears up for his first return to his old stomping ground since leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid in 2019. Speaking of the Belgian in his presser, Zidane said, “Now’s a great time for him. We’re going to need him and we know just what a great player he is. I’m sure that he’ll do his bit for the team. He’s ready. He’ll bring his game to the table and what he wants to do out there.”
Judging by the manager’s comments, there is a good chance that Hazard is in line to start at Stamford Bridge, especially after enjoying a positive outing against Osasuna. The ex-Chelsea ace ought to slot in on the left flank while Rodrygo Goes, who also enjoyed a fine cameo at the weekend, ought to start on the right with Karim Benzema spearheading the Real Madrid attack.
Real Madrid Predicted XI: Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Ramos, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Hazard