3 reasons why Real Madrid should be worried about facing Chelsea in the Champions League

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images) /
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Chelsea, Antonio Rudiger
Chelsea, Antonio Rudiger (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) /

Chelsea have an elite defense

There is something about breaking down an organized defense that makes things tough for Real Madrid. We have seen smaller clubs like Getafe, Cadiz, and Elche frustrate Los Merengues in LaLiga this season, much like these clubs frustrated them in the previous two seasons under Zinedine Zidane.

Chelsea won’t be ultra-defensive, but they have much better defenders than these clubs. Thiago Silva is still one of the best center backs on the planet, and it is lovely to see him getting praise for his outstanding work in the 2021/22 season.

Antonio Rudiger is another world-class center back and was even linked to Real Madrid frequently earlier in the season. He is not a likely target for Real, but he does have the quality to play for Real. That tells you something about how good he is.

Elsewhere, the Blues have one of the best right backs on the planet in Reece James. Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah, and Cesar Azpilicueta are all center backs who deserve respect for various reasons.

In goal, Chelsea have the only goalkeeper who I would consider on par with Thibaut Courtois as the best in the world, Edouard Mendy. His 82.1 save percentage is just one number highlighting his excellence. He will be tough for Madrid to beat.

And of course, N’Golo Kante. Goodness gracious, we have all run out of superlatives for the tireless engine in midfield. If anything shows you how amazing this man is in midfield, then it is the way he ran circles around Real Madrid’s legendary midfield in the last Champions League encounter. Though not a defender, Kante is very much the hero for Chelsea defensively with the work he puts in the middle of the park.

As a collective under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea are somehow even better than the sum of their parts defensively, especially in big Champions League matches. This is not a team you want to take lightly or mess with. Real’s attack is much better this season with Vinicius Jr. playing a starring role in front of goal, but this is a defense that even Los Blancos must treat with a great deal of respect – and even a healthy dose of fear.