Rafael Benitez suggests the Chelsea fans will be crucial tonight at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League quarter-final tie against Real Madrid.

Chelsea start this evening’s contest against Madrid trailing 2-0 on aggregate, with the Spanish giants deserving winners in last week’s first leg.

The Blues look dead and buried in the Premier League, so the Champions League is the last competition they’re still fighting for this season.

Frank Lampard, who’s the caretaker manager at Chelsea, knows from his playing days just how special a European night can be under the lights at the Bridge. The problem is this team look miles off the pace and have lost all three games since Lampard returned.

Manchester City v Newcastle United - Premier League
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Former Chelsea boss Benitez has tried to deliver an upbeat verdict on Chelsea ahead of the Madrid showdown.

He thinks the home support will play a factor in lifting the hosts.

“It is clear that the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge should be key to Chelsea starting the game with intensity, pressing high and not letting Real Madrid handle the ball as they know how. They also have quality players to play with and take advantage of any Real Madrid mistake. That’s easy to say, the hard part is doing it,” Benitez told The Telegraph.

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UCL
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It’s going to take something pretty spectacular for Chelsea to perform a U-turn in this tie.

Everybody has continued to wait this season for these Blues players to kick into gear and play somewhere near their best.

However, several different managers have tried and failed so far with this oversized squad.

Chelsea are certainly not big scorers, but they’ll have to find their shooting boots tonight.

We expect the Stamford Bridge crowd to try act as a 12th man to cause a big upset in the Champions League, but this set of players really owe all of them a performance this evening.

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