Real Madrid vs. Chelsea: 3 key advantages for Los Blancos in first leg

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

Karim Benzema is producing on another level

Did you know that Chelsea don’t have a single player with more than six Premier League goals this season? Jorginho, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, and Timo Werner are all tied with six. Mount is class and is Chelsea’s best player right now, Jorginho is also great but is buoyed in the goal-scoring department by penalties, Abraham is underrated, and Werner is great at everything except finishing. But none of these players are regular goal-scorers. They can’t be trusted as “the” primary goal-scorer.

Additionally, Chelsea only have one player with more than five assists this season in the league, and that man is none other than the misunderstood Werner, who has six.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are in the opposite situation. Whereas Chelsea benefit from having a well-rounded attack with a bunch of capable contributors and no true standout in goals or assists, Los Blancos are carried by a couple of standouts. Specifically, in the goal-scoring department, they are carried by one superstar.

Real Madrid have only one player with more than five goals in La Liga. His name is Karim Benzema. You may have heard of him. He’s the greatest striker in France’s history, one of the greatest players in Real’s history, and one of the best strikers of his generation. He also has 21 goals this season and 7 assists.

The Benzema factor is a huge advantage and storyline to watch in itself. Because remember, the guy who took his place in the France national team – and whom he insulted – plays for Chelsea. Olivier Giroud, a more than respectable striker in his own right, has his own point to prove and scored a delightful bicycle kick against Real’s rivals Atleti in the Round of 16.

But Benzema is the star man in Madrid and has the biggest point to prove of anyone. That not only should France respect him, but that he can lead Real Madrid to a Champions League triumph without Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale as the main star in his beloved club’s attack.

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In addition to all the qualities he possesses, which go beyond the stat sheet, the emotions involved could carry Benzema to a big semifinal. And Real may need it, considering how good Chelsea’s defense has looked under Tuchel.