Real Madrid vs Chelsea | Tuesday 27th April 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Think Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, Champions League – think Galácticos, think exciting expansive football, think end to end entertainment, think goals…..now think again!
Although it’s not to everyone’s taste being a good, or certainly successful, team isn’t just about scoring goals the other side of the game has to be appreciated or at least respected, quality defending, structure, organisation and in this semi-final, we have two of the best exponents in the game currently.
Since Thomas Tuchel arrived at Chelsea some 21 games ago, he has transformed their defence with the 1-0 victory over EPL top four rivals West Ham on Saturday making it a total of an incredible 16 clean sheets during his time in charge.
Porto’s 94th minute consolation in the last round was the first concession of a goal in the competition under the German coach’s watch and the record he is building in the bigger games is amazing – the results in those high-profile game across the UCL, EPL and FA Cup make some reading:
Spurs 0-1 Chelsea, Atletico 0-1 Chelsea, Chelsea 0-0 Man Utd, Liverpool 0-1, Chelsea 2-0 Atletico, Porto 0-2 Chelsea, Chelsea 0-1 Porto, Chelsea 1-0 Man City, West Ham 0-1 Chelsea – not one game those nine seeing over 2.5 goals or both teams scoring, with just that one goal by Mehdi Taremi conceded by Tuchel’s men.
Of course, a Los Blancos side who haven’t tasted defeat since January will be a stern test for the English side, and are on a run of four successive clean sheets themselves – but with three goalless draws included in that run.
All the signposts are pointing towards a tight, cagey affair at the Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium with possibly the main priority for both sides being to keep in the tie – I can’t overlook three bets which are plays based on those stats outlined above.
Possibly the safest option, but certainly the shortest odds is Both teams to score – no, available at a best priced 5/6 with Betway, clean sheets are such a regular occurrence for both these sides so to see both concede in the same game would be a massive surprise.
Next up I am putting forward under 1.5 match goals at 2/1 with Betfair sportsbook – I contemplated playing safe and if you wish to then look at the under 2.0 goal line which is still better than even money with Bet 365 and Unibet.
Finally, on the same train of thought I can’t not suggest the biggest odds play of 15/2 for no goalscorer – in a game that looks this close it has to be a major angle in.
Karim Benzema is such a vital part of this Real Madrid side I feel there will be special attention given to him in order to nulify his threat as was the case in the weekend stalemate with Betis, which I am sure Chelsea would have taken great heart in seeing.
As for Chelsea, will they play a striker at all? They may go with a false nine, or could opt of the misfiring Timo Werner who at least ended a 10-game drought at the weekend with the winner against the Hammers.
With all that taken in to account I wasn’t expecting to get odds as big as 15/2 from Bet Victor for no goalscorer – and for those of you unfamiliar with why we play that rather than the correct score of 0-0 – by doing so we can still win if the only goal scored is an own goal.
I am also going to put forward an angle of attack away from the goals markets and focus on a player who may be utilised to help nullify the creativity from the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric who Liverpool found to their cost in the last round if given the freedom to orchestrate the play – can put the tie out of reach.
I am expecting Chelsea to match up that midfield three of Madrid and therefore can see Mason Mount playing a slightly deeper role – or certainly a role with a bit more defensive responsibility and therefore am going to focus on the tackle market and his lines in particular.
Over the last eight games we have seen great consistency in the 22-year-old England internationals output when it comes to tackles, hitting four in the weekend win at the Olympic Stadium and making at least two in six of those last eight fixtures.
I’m sure the instruction from Tuchel will be to make this game tough and combative and with Mount a player who has been relied upon and trusted by all of the managers he has had in his short career to date, I am happy to play two lines with Sky Bet.
The main bet is for 2+ tackles at 4/5 but given that run of eight games I mentioned is book ended by two games where Mount has hit four or more, I will play that line too with some small change at odds of 6/1.
Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Both Teams To Score ‘No' (5/6 Betway)
Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Under 1.5 Goals (2/1 Betfair)
Real Madrid vs Chelsea – No Goalscorer (15/2 Bet Victor)
Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Mason Mount 2+ tackles (4/5 Sky Bet)
Real Madrid vs Chelsea – Mason Mount 4+ tackles (6/1 Sky Bet)