Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says his side cannot take anything for granted when they face Chelsea on Tuesday evening in the last-16 of the Champions League (Real 6/1, Chelsea 20/1 – Outright).
Los Blancos hold a 3-1 advantage from the first leg after Karim Benzema (EVS Anytime Goalscorer) scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge comprising of two fine headers and a tap in following an error by Edouard Mendy.
It leaves holders Chelsea with a mountain to climb and manager Thomas Tuchel admitted they will need an “incredible script” to progress (Match Betting – Real Madrid 13/8, Draw 13/5, Chelsea 8/5).
Real will be without defender Eder Militao for the game due to suspension, while the visitors will be unable to call upon striker Romelu Lukaku who has an Achilles issue.
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Spanish international Nacho will likely deputise for Militao and will have to pick up Kai Havertz (7/4 Anytime Goalscorer), who netted Chelsea’s goal at the Bridge.
An early strike could make the home side nervous at the Bernabeu and while they have only lost twice on their own patch this season, both were high-profile. The first was a 2-1 Group D defeat to Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol, while the second was last month’s 4-0 El Clasico reverse against Barcelona.
Ancelotti spent two seasons at Chelsea and has seen it all in the game, winning the Champions League with both AC Milan and Real.
Having watched his Milan side squander a 3-0 lead in the 2005 final against Liverpool, the 62-year-old knows nothing can be taken for granted and has told his players that they must be ready to “suffer” to secure their place in the semi-finals (To Qualify – Chelsea 11/2, Real Madrid 1/10).
“Everyone is well aware that it’s going to be a difficult game,” he told reporters. “The fans know and so do we.
“It’s the Champions League quarter-finals and regardless of what happened in the first leg, we’re well aware that in order to reach the semi-finals we’ll have to suffer, to fight, to compete and be in the game for 90 minutes.”
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