Premier League • England

Tuchel with work cut out as ‘king of Europe’ plans special welcome for Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid 2022 TEAMtalk1

Reports claim Real Madrid fans are planning to go all out to intimidate Chelsea during Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash.

Los Blancos hold all the aces ahead of the Bernabeu encounter after a stunning 3-1 first-leg triumph at Stamford Bridge. Karim Benzema bagged a hat-trick while Kai Havertz’s effort gave the Blues a glimmer of hope. It will be tough for Thomas Tuchel’s side to overcome the deficit, with Carlo Ancleotti’s men in decent form.

They sit 12 points clear at the top of the LaLiga standings and are destined to lift the trophy once again. Along with Barcelona, Real have been the dominant side in Europe in recent times.

They know how to get the job done and will have their vociferous fans behind them throughout the 90 minutes. And there will be an added touch by the Spanish supporters, with a huge tifo set to be unveiled in the stands.

Radio Marca are reporting that the image will be of a king holding a card in his hand, with the number 13. That represents the number of times Real have claimed Europe’s elite club competition.

The report adds that there will also be the words ‘don’t play with the king of Europe’ on display. It is unlikely to be of much concern to the Chelsea players who already know the task ahead of them is daunting.

But they will arrive in the Spanish capital having put six goals past Southampton at the weekend.

Chelsea set to mount staunch defence

Chelsea won last season’s Champions League after Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at the helm. They finished second behind Juventus in the group stage this time around, winning four of their games.

Lille were brushed away 4-1 on aggerate in the round of 16. But they found Real a much tougher nut to crack.

Uncertainty surrounding the ownership of the club has been an issue in recent weeks. But it could also have a galvanising effect.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema

There is no question that Tuchel has an array of talent in his ranks and enough firepower to do some damage. The west Londoners will not want to give up their crown without a battle.

Most things will be against them and an early goal will be essential to try and silence what will be a noisy crowd.

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