Real Madrid: 3 Chelsea players to watch closely in the first leg

Chelsea, Mason Mount (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Chelsea, Mason Mount (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid will face Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals this Tuesday night. Although Los Blancos are the favorites, the Blues have proven to be a capable adversary ever since Thomas Tuchel was appointed as their manager.

After a summer of heavy investment in the attack, Chelsea also have the right players at Tuchel’s disposal. Slowly but surely, they have gotten to the point where they are indeed among Europe’s elite sides.

Here are three specific players Real Madrid must watch closely in the first leg.

AM Mason Mount

First up is Mason Mount, who can play as an attacking midfielder or a forward-bursting wide center midfielder in a 4-3-3. Mount has been Chelsea’s best player in the 2020-2021 season, and with his future upside, he will likely be the Blues’ best player over the next few years until Kai Havertz and Timo Werner truly explode.

Mount is a skilled, agile midfielder with great technical quality who can score from pretty much anywhere. He’s a good dribbler, and he has gotten a lot better at making quicker decisions in the current campaign.

With 2.4 key passes in the Premier League, according to, Mount is a playmaker Real Madrid must have eyes on at all times.

CB Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger is an underrated center back, in my book, as he’s enjoying a splendid run of form under Thomas Tuchel. Right now, Rudiger is playing at a world-class level, and he is one of those players who will get into it with anyone for his club’s badge. He’s the kind of player Madridistas respect as an opponent, because is tough and excellent at his job.

The battles between Karim Benzema and Chelsea’s center backs will be fun to watch for neutrals, and Rudiger is going to be damn tough for Real’s forwards to dribble past. In fact, he’s allowing just 0.1 dribbles completed per game against him in both the Champions League and the Premier League this season. He’s a player Madridistas should not sleep on this Tuesday.

FW Timo Werner

The last player to watch is Timo Werner, who was once on Real Madrid’s radar as a potential transfer target. Formerly of RB Leipzig, Werner was trading places with Robert Lewandowski on the goal-scoring charts in the Bundesliga, and he was playing the ball of his life under Julian Nagelsmann as a free-roaming forward who could destroy teams on the break.

At Chelsea, Werner’s had to settle into a different role, and fans are beginning to see that finishing and being a traditional striker aren’t his strong points. But pace, acceleration, chance-creation, and work rate are on his list of qualities.

Werner contributes goals in a variety of ways. He can play in the middle or on the left for Chelsea. And he is actually his team’s leader in assists so far this season in the Premier League with six. Werner has six goals in the league (tied with Mason Mount and Jorginho for the team lead) with three goals and two assists in 617 Champions League minutes.

Next. 3 advantages Real Madrid have over Chelsea. dark

Although Werner gets heavy criticism from the close-minded novices of social media for his misses, Werner is a difference-maker in the Chelsea attack and could cause issues for the Real back line if they are not extremely careful.