Report: Chelsea break Champions League tradition as Tuchel prepares secret plans for Real Madrid clash
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel made a decision that breaks the Champions League tradition in order to conceal his plans ahead of Tuesday’s second leg match against Real Madrid, according to Spanish outlet AS.
The visiting team usually holds one last training session at the host stadium ahead of a match in the Champions League.
This, however, will not be the case for the upcoming second-leg match between Chelsea and Real Madrid, AS claims.
Tuchel reportedly decided to keep his squad at Cobham training centre and will only fly to Madrid to play the game.
This, the report added, is because Tuchel wants to avoid giving any clues about his preparation for the game.
The report mentions that as a result, the former Paris Saint-Germain manager’s press conference will also not be held at Santiago Bernabeu but from Cobham via a video conference.
This is certainly interesting because it suggests Tuchel is planning some tactical surprises.
The Blues will at least need a 2-0 win to force the tie into extra time after the 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge in the first leg.
Tuchel has used several different formations at Chelsea, from his preferred 3-4-3 to a more adventurous 4-1-4-1 formation.
Chelsea will obviously have to take more risks, and despite their convincing attacking display in the 6-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, their attackers have been rather inconsistent throughout the season.
Cesar Azpilicueta’s likely absence after testing positive for Covid-19 may also be a big blow given the hard time Andreas Christensen had defending against Vinicius Jr in the first leg.
Tuchel’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek gamble in the Southampton win could be an answer to this issue.
Update: Tuchel confirmed on Monday morning that Azpilicueta is in contention to play in the second leg after several negative tests for Covid-19.
More update: Chelsea apparently held a training session at Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, the venue they visited for last year’s semifinal clash, on Monday evening.