We’ve heard of some weird reasons for a player’s participation in a football match being put in doubt, including injuries caused by ironing boards and runaway cows.
However, Madrid defender Marcelo being called to serve at an election centre the day before a big game is certainly a “Question of Sport” answer in the making!
Marcelo should still make the Madrid line up for their crunch clash with Chelsea, after performing his Civic Duty on Tuesday.
And boy is he needed, with Madrid in the middle of a defensive crisis, and their opponents becoming harder to beat than a drum made of sponge cake, with a defensive record that’s just as tasty!
|Fixture||Chelsea v Real Madrid|
|Date||Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 20:00|
|Where||Stamford Bridge, London|
|How to Watch||Live on BT Sport|
Our Top Odds Pick – Under 2.5 Goals – 3/4 at Betfair
The first three and half months of the Thomas Tuchel era may not have been spectacular, but they have certainly been effective!
Chelsea have lost just two of the 23 games he has presided over, and have conceded one goal or less in 22 of those matches.
The Blues returned from Madrid with a draw in the reverse fixture, and more importantly, a precious away goal.
And no matter how many times he says that Chelsea will play to win in the second leg, Tuchel will know that a clean sheet will be enough to book their place in the Champions League final.
As for Madrid, you count them out at your peril, but the fact remains that they have won just two of their last six games, averaging just one goal per match in the process.
And for all their defensive prowess, Chelsea haven’t exactly been banging them in either, averaging less than a goal a game in their last six fixtures.
So whoever ends up progressing, we’re expecting a cagey affair at Stamford Bridge.
Our Long Shot – Kai Havertz To Score First – 7/1 at bet365
Madrid will be without centre-back Raphael Varane and right-back Dani Carvajal, but those losses should be offset somewhat by the return of Sergio Ramos.
However, Thomas Tuchel may have a trick up his sleeve when it comes to the Madrid captain, hinting this week that he may play with no strikers to give Ramos “no one to fight with”.
And while that statement was tongue in cheek, there could be some truth to it, with Kai Havertz pushing for a start after his brace at the weekend.
Havertz was superb against Fulham, and we reckon Tuchel could easily deploy him as a false nine, at Timo Werner’s expense, and with Madrid’s defensive issues, the young German has an outstanding chance of opening the scoring.
And even if he doesn’t start, with a tight game predicted Havertz could easily find himself on the pitch at 0-0.
Please note that all odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.