Real Madrid at Chelsea: Five X-Factors who could change the game

Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Chelsea, Mason Mount
Chelsea, Mason Mount (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Chelsea AM Mason Mount

The 22-year-old Mason Mount can play in three different positions for Chelsea. He can start in a three-man midfield, play as an attacking midfielder, or even line up as a left-sided inverted playmaker. Mount has been Chelsea’s best player this season and looked dangerous in the first leg, with his breakouts in transition causing issues for Real’s overwhelmed defense.

Los Blancos should have a better response for Mount in the second leg, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll be able to contain him. Plus, Mount favors attacking down the left side, so he could try to exploit a mismatch if Alvaro Odriozola starts.

Many of Chelsea’s best game this season have come when Mount is pulling the strings. The England international has 2.4 key passes per game this season in the Premier League, per But that average is below one per game in the Champions League across nine appearances, including seven starts.

Mount is a burgeoning playmaker and inching towards the “world-class” label. Which version of Mount will we see in the second leg? If it’s the man who dominated West Ham, Leeds, Fulham, and Crystal Palace, then the Blues could be in business. But Real Madrid are a different beast from these sides, so the onus is on Mount to rise to the occasion.