|Chelsea head coach, Frank Lampard believes his team can overturn the result of the first leg, can he get his wish against the reigning champions? (Photo credit: Inside Sport)|
The Champions League returns on Tuesday with Chelsea embarking on what you won’t be wrong to call "mission impossible" after their first-leg loss to Real Madrid last week.
Chelsea’s form has raised confidence issues among the fans, and the decision to hand the reigns to Frank Lampard till the end of the season has also divided the entire room, but the Real Madrid game is everything to the club’s season.
Chelsea has been here before: in 2012, when they went all the way to land the big one in Europe for the first time after a difficult domestic run, and when they had to fire the same Lampard in 2021 before Thomas Tuchel took them past Manchester City for their second Champions League title.
Real Madrid is that team that becomes something else when the Champions League is the topic; the reigning champions, under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti, have managed to create fear in the opposition, and when they file out, they do justice to the perception around them and the continental tournament.
Lampard has told Chelsea fans who do not believe the Blues can overturn the 2-0 first-leg defeat to advance to the semifinals to stay back at home, as all he wants around Stamford Bridge is positive energy and nothing more.
It’s great to see that the manager believes his players can do the job, but why do some fans feel it’s an impossible task? For a club that has lost each of their last three games domestically—in fact, they have lost the three games they have played under Frank Lampard—where will the confidence come from?
Don’t bet against the Blues; football has a way of confounding the best of pundits, but what are the odds that Real Madrid will have a bad day at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night? What evidence do you have that Chelsea will show up?
The strongest of fans would point to the freshness of N’golo Kante and the swift return of Thiago Silva, and that should offer some confidence, but does Lampard have it in him to outclass Ancelotti when the game gets tough on Tuesday?