FanPost

Return of Ramos: exactly what is needed for semis

Real Madrid make the trip to Stamford Bridge for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie against Premier League side Chelsea.

Los Blancos played out a 1-1 draw against the west London outfit in the first leg in Madrid, but they were far from convincing with their performance.

Karim Benzema scored with the only shot on target to equalise in the 29th minute, and the club need a much better attacking display on the road.

Zinedine Zidane’s side must score at least once at the Bridge after conceding an away goal in the tie, but it won’t be easy against a solid Blues defence.

Since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel as the head coach, the Blues have kept a staggering 17 clean sheets from 23 matches across all competitions.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game, if you are betting on android apps you will be looking at the injury news out of Madrid, and it’s not great. Los Blancos have received a double injury blow with both Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane ruled out of the contest.

Regardless of their absence, Zidane appears likely to shift to the traditional four-man backline after experimenting with a 3-5-2 setup last week.

Sergio Ramos has been out with a hamstring injury since the last international break, but he has been deemed fit ahead of the crunch encounter.

He could be replacing Varane in the starting XI, and his presence should provide a huge boost for the club as they aim to reach a fifth final in eight seasons.

It is quite clear that the club have the dependence on Benzema upfront with 27 goals this term. Casemiro has been the second-best scorer with just seven goals.

Ramos’ return provides Los Blancos with the added threat from set-pieces, and the talismanic captain will be aiming to pounce on any scoring opportunities.

Meanwhile, the 35-year-old’s presence at the back is another boost. He remains one of the best in the business despite approaching the final phase of his career.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has already started playing mind games by suggesting that he could play without an out-of-out striker to keep Ramos out of the game.

Ramos will be up for the challenge regardless of the formation, and he will be keen to make his mark against the Blues, who are looking to reach their first final since 2012.

Real Madrid are winless in their four European meetings against Chelsea. They have the chance to put an end to the streak to book their final spot in Istanbul.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com