Real Madrid host Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Cesar Azpilicueta and Romelu Lukaku are both doubts for the game.
A spectacular 6-0 league victory against Southampton on the road provided the ideal answer after the Blues endured 4-1 and 3-1 losses to Brentford and Real Madrid, respectively, in recent weeks.
It was a significant remark after two disappointing outcomes. Chelsea will have a newfound sense of hope heading into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Although Tuchel has conceded that he is uncertain about the availability of Azpilicueta and Lukaku, both of whom were absent for the journey to St Mary’s for various reasons, Tuchel has said that the game would go ahead as scheduled.
Lukaku was forced to withdraw from the game due to an injury. Tuchel has now confirmed that the Belgian had not been training and was in too much agony to take part in the match against the Saints on Sunday.
In other news, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta has been ruled out of the Saints game after testing positive for coronavirus on Monday. The pair are in a race against the clock to be ready for Chelsea’s season opener.
“He [Lukaku] wasn’t in training yesterday because he was in too much agony,” he said to Chelseafc.com.We don’t have a lot of time, since we only have two training sessions left before we leave the nation the following Monday. We’ll have to wait since I don’t have an answer right now.”
Following their victory against Arsenal on Sunday, Chelsea now enjoy an eight-point lead over the Gunners in fifth place. They are in a strong position to qualify for next season’s Champions League with eight games remaining in the season.
However, for the time being, their primary focus will be on defending their European championship. It will be a very different task in Madrid, while they were just too excellent for the Saints last time around.
After struggling with their high press, the Saints had a number of defensive holes to exploit. Chelsea will not be expecting anything similar against Real Madrid, who were outstanding at Stamford Bridge.
Karim Benzema scored a magnificent hat-trick to put Chelsea’s defence under pressure. It remains to be seen if the Blues will be able to stage a remarkable comeback and get to the last four of the premier championship.