Real Madrid vs. Chelsea Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Total Has Value in Champions League First Leg (April 27)
Alastair Grant – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Thomas Tuchel, left, interacts with players during Saturday’s Chelsea-West Ham match.
- Real Madrid hosts Chelsea on Tuesday, April 27 in Champions League semifinal action (3 p.m. ET, Paramount+).
- Los Blancos have former Chelsea star Eden Hazard back from injury, which could help since they might need him against the Blues' stellar defense.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup below and gives his Real Madrid vs. Chelsea bet for the first leg of this showdown.
Real Madrid vs. Chelsea Odds
|Real Madrid Odds||+138|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+135 /-167)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds updated Monday afternoon via DraftKings.|
A fascinating tactical matchup leads off the Champions League semifinal first leg on Tuesday as Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid squad battles Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Real Madrid’s La Liga title hopes took a major hit on Saturday when they drew at home against Real Betis. However, los Blancos must shift their focus to the Champions League where they’ve been nothing short of dominant in their two knockout ties with Atalanta and Liverpool.
In the knockout stage, Real Madrid has three wins and one draw, while outscoring their opponents 7 to 2. However, this will be their toughest challenge to date facing an in-form Chelsea side.
Chelsea has been outstanding under Tuchel, as the Blues only have two losses in all competitions since January 27th. They put on a defensive masterclass in both of their knockout ties with Atlético Madrid and Porto, giving up only one goal in four matches.
Yet, much like Real Madrid, this will be their most difficult test to date in the competition, facing one of the world’s most consistent, disciplined squads.
Los Blancos have been on a great run since the calendar turned to 2021, despite the draw with Real Betis over the weekend. They have only one loss in all competitions and have put up a +16.67 xGD in the process.
Zidane’s 4-3-3 system has been completely overwhelming teams this season, as Los Blancos are scoring 1.80 xG per 90 minutes and only allowing 1.00 xG per 90 minutes when playing out of that formation. Karim Benzema has been the man in form, scoring at a 0.66 xG per 90 minute rate in La Liga this season. He’ll be a very difficult matchup for Chelsea’s defense.
What will be interesting for Real Madrid in this matchup is how they handle Chelsea’s morphing 3-4-2-1 system. It’s not a system that is seen too often in Spain, but Zidane is one of the best tactical managers and Real Madrid is one of the most disciplined teams in the world, so it will be a fascinating matchup to see who comes out on top.
Defense has been Chelsea strong suit under Tuchel. The Blues’ defense is allowing only 0.58 xG per match in the Premier League and Champions League combined since Tuchel took over at the end of January.
Tactically, Tuchel changed Chelsea’s system to a 3-4-2-1 from the 4-3-3 used by Frank Lampard, which has allowed Chelsea to become more unpredictable. The main objective of the 3-4-2-1 is to completely overwhelm opposing defenses by outnumbering them on the counter attack.
The new formation allows Chelsea some tactical flexibility, to adjust on the fly based on how the match is going. That’s allowed Chelsea to dominate possession and keep opponents on their toes.
They should be able to handle Real Madrid’s 4-3-3, since that is the formation they used to play in and since they see it on a regular basis in the Premier League. The change has done wonders, as the Blues have a 1.56 xGD per 90 minutes when playing out of the 3-4-2-1 formation.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Even though these are two of the best defensive outfits in the world, both offenses are no slouch either, as both average over 1.75 xG per match in their respective domestic leagues.
Additionally, Real Madrid is going to be without both of their starting defenders, so Chelsea’s offense could have the advantage.
Since I have 2.50 goals projected for this match, I think there is some value on Over 2.5 goals at +135 odds via DraftKings as my top pick. I also would play this down to +120 odds.
Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (+135)