Gus Poyet makes Chelsea vs Real Madrid prediction
Gus Poyet expects a close game in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg match between Chelsea and Real Madrid.
The Blues will look to bounce back after a shock 4-1 defeat to Brentford on Saturday, while the visitors will seek revenge for last season’s semi-final defeat.
Real Madrid had six wins in their last seven games, including a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend.
However, their heavy 4-0 defeat to Barcelona prior to the international break showed that, just like Chelsea, they are not exactly bulletproof.
Benzema’s return is a big boost for the Spanish side, but similarly, Reece James is likely ready to start for Chelsea after battling a muscular injury.
Poyet argued that there is no clear favourite between the two teams.
“It will depend on how the players arrive,” the former Chelsea midfielder told AS.
“It’s very important. You could see it the other day in El Clasico.
“There are players that you need in these games and who will be in the game will be decisive.
“Because the level is very even, I don’t think there will be much difference.”
Poyet then pointed out how in the previous round against Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid had Benzema who single-handedly dragged them to the quarter-finals.
While he acknowledged that David Alaba’s arrival and Vinicius’ rise have transformed Real Madrid this season, Poyet thinks his former club will have the edge.
“Regardless of everything you tell me, I’m going with Chelsea,” he added.
In terms of squads, Real Madrid may have a slight advantage. All of their players, except Luka Jovic, took part in their preparation on Sunday.
Although, it remains unclear whether Carlo Ancelotti, who has been absent due to Covid-19 in the past week, will be able to travel to London.
The Blues, on the other hand, will at least be without Ben Chilwell, who is out for the season. Thomas Tuchel also expressed his concern over his team’s being “mentally tired” after the Brentford defeat.