Real Madrid travels to Chelsea with Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard and Marcelo ready to make it to the final

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Real Madrid stuttered at home against Chelsea, but with Eden Hazard having a point to prove on his return to Stamford Bridge, Sergio Ramos back and Marcelo available, Spanish hopes are high for the Champions League semi-final.

  • Zinedine Zidane has been thinking about his team selection for tonight’s semifinal
  • The Real Madrid boss has to decide on the fitness of four of his star players
  • Marcelo is also back in the fray after escaping election service in Madrid
  • After the home advantage failed, Madrid must get a result in London
  • Zidane has a range of options at his disposal as he prepares to take on Chelsea

Zinedine Zidane has a reputation for being very late at times to tell his players who is and is not playing.

He had picked two teams for the second Clasico of the season last month, opting one over the other when Barcelona’s XI fell first and saw that they were only two at the front.

The side he chooses to play against Chelsea may come just as late as he waits to decide on the readiness of four players who would all be sure to start if they were 100 percent, but all at various stages of recovery to the contest.

Zinedine Zidane has a plethora of options at his disposal for Madrid's second leg in the semi-final

Zinedine Zidane has a plethora of options at his disposal for Madrid’s second leg in the semi-final

Los Blancos failed to make home advantage count as they were held to a 1-1 draw last week

Los Blancos failed to make home advantage count as they were held to a 1-1 draw last week

Los Blancos failed to make home advantage count as they were held to a 1-1 draw last week

Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy and Fede Valverde were all delayed from Madrid to London on Tuesday morning, but no one is sure they will start. And with the team squad up in the air, Madrid supporters aren’t sure whether to believe the 13-time winners can win their first-ever competitive European match at Stamford Bridge and make it to the Istanbul final.

Hazard impressed in the first half against Osasuna over the weekend before fading in the second period and being replaced after 72 minutes. He hasn’t responded to the calf strain that kept him out for the second half of March and most of the month of April, but as has been the case since he joined the club, not getting injured isn’t necessarily fit. Zidane has decided to use it on Wednesday, but the big dilemma remains whether it’s on the bench from the start or not.

Madrid supporters are clinging to the hope that he will finally produce something like his old Chelsea form against his former club.

Madrid captain Sergio Ramos only played three games this year, but his leadership is crucial

Madrid captain Sergio Ramos only played three games this year, but his leadership is crucial

Eden Hazard has failed to justify his high price tag, but there is hope he can inspire victory in his old home

Eden Hazard has failed to justify his high price tag, but there is hope he can inspire victory in his old home

Star duo Sergio Ramos (left) and Eden Hazard (right) are struggling with their fitness

Marcelo is also available after escaping election requirement to travel to London with the squad

Marcelo is also available after escaping election requirement to travel to London with the squad

Marcelo is also available after escaping election requirement to travel to London with the squad

However, the Brazilian may make way for Ferland Mendy, who is fully fit again

However, the Brazilian may make way for Ferland Mendy, who is fully fit again

However, the Brazilian may make way for Ferland Mendy, who is fully fit again

a Diario AS columnist even appealed to the ghost of a 22-year-old Nicolas Anelka on Tuesday who flopped when he signed for £ 23 million from Arsenal in 1999, but came to life temporarily as they scored in both semi-finals against Bayern Munich for them in the 2000 to place. they won the final.

At times Hazard’s laid-back attitude has been interpreted as not bothering about his lack of playing time in Madrid, but in Zidane he has always had a kindred spirit and everything indicates that he gives the Belgian his start when he is his manager. ensures that he is ready. before.

Ramos’s starting place will depend on something more than just insisting that he is ready. In the league and the Champions League, he has only played three games all year and has not appeared against Atalanta in the last 16 since March 16.

Zidane may be leaving late before making his decision as he wants to get one on Thomas Tuchel

Zidane may be leaving late before making his decision as he wants to get one on Thomas Tuchel

Zidane may be leaving late before making his decision as he wants to get one on Thomas Tuchel

ZIDANE’S DILEMMA: THREE OPTIONS

OPTION 1, ALL-IN (5-3-2)

Polite

Valverde, Militao, Ramos, Nacho, Mendy

Modric, Casemiro, Kroos

Danger, Benzema

OPTION 2, NO RAMOS (4-4-2)

Polite

Odriozola, Militao, Nacho, Mendy

Valverde, Modric, Casemiro, Duckweed

Danger, Benzema

OPTION 3: DANGER BENCHED (4-3-3)

Polite

Valverde, Militao, Ramos, Nacho, Mendy

Modric, Casemiro, Kroos

Rodrygo / Asensio, Benzema

He’s had a knee injury, a coronavirus positive and a calf injury, all against the backdrop of a contract stalemate that leaves him at odds with the club and just weeks away from a free departure for only giving him a one-year deal instead of two.

All of this could normally make him a clear non-starter, but Zidane is without Raphael Varane and there are concerns about right-back Alvaro Odriozola being third-choice behind injured pair Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez.

If he settles for a back four, Zidane would be happier if Nacho shifts to the right back – that would mean Ramos would have to play alongside the excellent Eder Militao.

Zidane was also able to play a back five like he did in the first leg, and Ramos was somewhat protective by playing him in a three with Nacho and Militao. Odriozola would be less of a risk as a right-back, and Marcelo or Mendy would play as a left-back.

Of the four doubts, Mendy seems the most likely to have recovered from a calf strain. He’s missed the last five games, but even if Zidane sees any risk, he’ll be more likely to take it than play with Marcelo, who was at least spared his civic duty to man one of the voting booths in Madrid on Tuesday and was released to play with. the plow.

Madrid’s dynamic midfielder, Valverde, was also on the run. He hasn’t played 90 minutes in the league since March, but did come back from an ankle problem to play the full game against Liverpool.

He was immense at Anfield and he’s a player who trusts Zidane and someone whose natural fitness is usually such that he doesn’t have to build up his minutes gradually.

How his recent coronavirus positive affected him will be key. If Liverpool is a guide in the last round, and if quarantine hasn’t taken him away too much, then he should start.

It’s his biggest squad of the season and the fact that Zidane isn’t short on options won’t make things any easier.

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