The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.
The stage is set and battle lines are drawn. Black Magic to be activated in less than 24 hours. Chelsea will be missing Kovacic but are at full strength otherwise. Will Zidane use three at the back in a 3-5-2 or go with a traditional 4-3-3? Either way we can’t wait to find out.
✅ Our squad for the match @ChelseaFC!#UCL pic.twitter.com/MdP90EP5ji— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) April 26, 2021
So what do we know about our opponent tonight?
Om Arvind spoke with Chelsea superfan and tactics expert Kieran Doyle (@KierDoyle) to gain an insight into Chelsea’s recent form, their tactical setup, key players etc. Here’s the full interview.
Pulisic also spoke to the press ahead of the game and they certainly seem to be in a bullish mood. Nobody taught them to bow down in the presence of Kings? Or that just the opportunity to face Real Madrid is an achievement in itself? No? Preposterous I say. All jokes aside Los Blancos will be facing a very good team tonight, one that has earned their place in the semi finals. We certainly have our work cut out.
Interesting to note that the Chelsea blog on Sb Nation (We Ain’t Got No History) voted (83%) in favor of a 3-4-3 with the followed preferred lineup:
Mendy (96%) | Rüdiger (91%), Silva (86%), Azpilicueta (75%) | Chilwell (90%), Kanté (99%), Jorginho (91%), James (79%), Pulisic (65%), Werner (60%), Mount (97%)
Kroos concern ahead of the game.
Javier Herraez of Cadena SER reported that Toni Kroos has not fully recovered. He will be playing from the start because it is the UCL. Otherwise he would not be starting. It’s a risk but he is essential for Zidane. Fingers crossed that there’s no fallout from Toni starting today and that he has a good game as well. Anyone that has a bald head please proceed to rub it. The rest can rub your tummies. This is for good luck. Works for Zidane.
Will we see fans in the stadium for the last few games of La liga?
The Spanish Government wants to open La Liga stadiums to the fans for the last 4 matchdays, at a 25% capacity. Florentino Perez already confirmed that if stadiums open, the Santiago Bernabeu will also open THIS season, because the pitch is ready.
El Partidazo de COPE also confirmed that La Liga is working to get crowds back into the stadiums for the weekend of the 9th of May. A maximum of 5,000 people will be allowed states this report however. This could mean games against Sevilla and Villareal at the Bernabeu.