Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have a mountain to climb in their second leg against La Liga giants Real Madrid. They host Los Blancos at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the hope of turning round a two-goal deficit. But just how likely is it they can do that? We look to answer just that in our Chelsea vs Real Madrid preview.

Real Madrid vs Chelsea: Quick Hits

  • Real Madrid favourites to beat Chelsea on the night with the Opta supercomputer (40.6%).
  • Our supercomputer predicts Real will become the first side to win two Champions League games at Stamford Bridge in UCL history.
  • Despite progressing in five of their last seven UEFA Champions League ties when losing the first leg away from home, this will be a step too far for the Blues.
  • Bet365 have a new account offer ahead of this UCL tie. 

Match Preview

Chelsea were probably fortunate to leave Madrid last week with this tie still (relatively) in the balance. They were outclassed by Carlo Ancelotti’s men in the Santiago Bernabéu and, given Ben Chillwell’s red card on the hour mark with Lampard’s side already a goal down, a 2-0 defeat wasn’t a nightmarish outcome. 

It is, however, still going to be an exceptionally difficult deficit to overcome. History tells us as much. 

Real Madrid have progressed from 18 of their 19 UEFA Champions League ties after winning the first leg by two or more goals, failing only in 2003-04 against Monaco in the quarter-final (4-2 first leg, 1-3 second leg, eliminated on away goals rule). The UCL veterans know how to see games out when they hold the advantage. 

Ancelotti’s side are just a different animal in Europe’s premier club competition. They’ve won nine of their last 11 UEFA Champions League matches (D1 L1), and each of their last five knockout matches. All five of those wins have come against English clubs, and another one is in their crosshairs once again. 

Yes, Chelsea have progressed in the last two occasions that they lost their opening away leg by two clear goals (versus Napoli in 2011-12 and against Paris Saint-Germain in 2013-14), but that was a very different time. 

The Blues have a strong home record in the Champions League – they’ve only lost one of their last 10 home games (W8 D1) – but that defeat did come against Real Madrid last season at Stamford Bridge. The Spanish giants are 7/5 to beat Chelsea in the English capital with bet365. Even though they don’t need to win this leg to progress, getting them at odds against is nice. 

Previous Meeting

Real Madrid 2-0 Chelsea: 12 April 2023 (UEFA Champions League)

Real Madrid 2-0 Chelsea - UCL first leg

Last week’s first leg was about as straightforward as they come for Real Madrid. Karim Benzema (who else?) opened the scoring with a simple tap-in after Kepa Arrizabalaga could only palm Vinícius Júnior’s shot into the path of the Real Madrid captain. Benzema now has 20 UEFA Champions League goals against teams from England, with only Lionel Messi scoring more (27). 

Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as Ben Chilwell saw red for hauling down Vinícius Júnior on the hour mark. Chilwell became the first Chelsea player to be sent off in the UEFA Champions League since Marcos Alonso in February 2020. In fact, 10 of Chelsea’s 14 red cards in the Champions League have been in the knockout stages, the joint most of any side along with Juventus. 

Despite the one-man advantage, Real Madrid could only add one more goal, with Marco Asensio sweeping in from the edge of the box. The Spaniard has scored nine goals as a substitute in the UEFA Champions League, the most of any player in the competition’s history. 

In truth, the tie could have been over after the first leg. Chelsea faced 10 shots on target in this match, their most in a UCL match since November 2012 against Juventus (13). It was the first time they’d faced 10 or more shots on target since August 2019 against Liverpool. 

Real Madrid 2-0 Chelsea race chart - UCL first leg

Recent Form

It’s not been a happy return for Frank Lampard at Chelsea since taking over from Graham Potter. His second managerial spell at the club could not have started worse, with the Blues losing all three of his games in charge (vs. Wolves, Real Madrid and Brighton). Their most recent defeat against Brighton at the weekend might have been the poorest, with Roberto De Zerbi’s side routinely cutting the home team open. Chelsea faced 26 shots against Brighton, their most on record (since 2003-04) in a Premier League home game, while the 10 shots they faced on target was their joint-most in a home match in the same period. Brighton clocked up 2.94 expected goals against Chelsea at the weekend, which is the most Chelsea have conceded in a game this season. 

Chelsea are winless in four Premier League home games (D2 L2), their worst such run since their final five home games of the 2015-16 season (D1 L4) when they finished 10th. 

Meanwhile in Spain, Real Madrid really cut loose against Cadiz. They won 2-0, but really could have and should have scored more. They attempted 35 shots in the game, the highest total by any team in a single match in La Liga this season, and registered an expected goals total above three (3.52) for just the ninth game this season. They do still trail Barcelona by nine points in the league though, so the cup competitions are likely their best chance of silverware this season.  

Cadiz 0-2 Real Madrid La Liga

Chelsea reached the knockout stages by topping the Group E standings ahead of Milan, RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb. They then turned around the last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund to make it to the quarter-finals, losing the first leg 1-0 in Germany but winning 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the second leg thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and a Kai Havertz penalty.   

Real Madrid won their group stage ahead of RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic. They then qualified for the last eight with an emphatic round of 16 victory over Liverpool – a repeat of last year’s final – winning 6-2 on aggregate, including a 5-2 win at Anfield in the first leg. 

Key Players

Chelsea: Kai Havertz

Chelsea’s woes in front of goal are alarming. They’ve scored just once in their last five games in all competitions, something that’ll obviously need to change if they’re to have any hope at progressing in this tie. 

No one have sparkled in an attacking sense for Chelsea all season really, but Kai Havertz will likely be entrusted to lead the line for Chelsea. The German international missed Chelsea’s weekend game against Brighton with a slight knee injury, but Lampard has said he should be good to go for this match. 

Havertz has been involved in the most attacking sequences ending in a shot for Chelsea this UCL campaign with 37 overall, but more notably his 18 shots are more than anyone else. He’s currently priced at 10/3 to score anytime with bet365 – which is longer than team-mates Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Joao Felix, David Fofana and Raheem Sterling. That just doesn’t feel quite right for a player averaging 3.7 shots and 0.41 xG per 90, should he be given a starting berth. 

Chelsea attacking sequences UCL 2022-23

Real Madrid: Karim Benzema

There seems to be no stopping Karim Benzema in the knockout stages of the Champions League, particularly against English opposition. Each of Benzema’s last 11 UEFA Champions League goals have come against English teams, while his last 14 have all been in the knockout stages of the competition, the longest such run by a player in Champions League history. Benzema has 14 goals and two assists for Real Madrid in his last nine appearances in the knockout stages. 

Chelsea vs Real Madrid Prediction

Chelsea vs Real Madrid Prediction

Real Madrid are the supercomputer’s favourites to win the second leg in west London (40.6%), which means the 7/5 you can get at bet365 represents a bit of value. 

Chelsea win this game just over a third of the time (33.7%), while the draw is the least likely outcome at 25.7%. 

Unsurprisingly, Real Madrid are a huge 90.1% to qualify for the semi-finals with the supercomputer and they’ve moved into the model’s second favourites outright. Their 16.8% is higher than Inter Milan’s 14.5%, but it is still a long way behind our tournament favourites Manchester City (44.8%). Napoli (12.0%) come next followed by AC Milan (9.4%). Bayern Munich (1.5%), Benfica (0.6%) and Chelsea (0.5%) are all but dead to the Opta supercomputer following their quarter-final first-leg defeats. 

Who do you think will win the UEFA Champions League in 2022-23? All the latest odds via bet365 are here. 

Chelsea vs Real Madrid UCL Squads 

Chelsea: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli, Edouard Mendy, Lucas Bergström*, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Kalidou Koulibaly, César Azpilicueta, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Enzo Fernández, N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovačić, Christian Pulišić, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Danis Zakaria, Hakim Ziyech, Conor Gallagher, Kai Havertz, Carney Chukwuemeka, Charlie Webster*, Lewis Hall*, João Félix, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mykhailo Mudryk, Armando Broja*. 

Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois, Andriy Lunin, Luis López*, Lucas Cañizares*, Diego Piñeiro*, Dani Carvajal, Éder Militão, David Alaba, Jesús Vallejo, Nacho, Álvaro Odriozola, Antonio Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy, Rafel Obrador*, Rafa Marín*, Alvaro Carrillo*, Vinicius Tobias, Marvel*, Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde, Lucas Vázquez, Aurélien Tchouameni, Dani Ceballos, Mario Martín*, Carlos Dotor*, Sergio Arribas*, Peter*, Óscar Aranda*, Nicolás Paz*, Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Mariano Díaz, Iker Bravo, Álvaro Rodríguez*. 

*Player List B 

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