Chelsea vs. Real Madrid Odds, Picks, Predictions: Champions League Semifinal Betting Preview

Chelsea vs. Real Madrid Odds, Picks, Predictions: Champions League Semifinal Betting Preview article feature image
Credit:

David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images. Pictured: Karim Benzema (center).

  • Chelsea hosts Real Madrid in Wednesday's Champions League semifinal with a spot in the title match on the line (3 p.m. ET, Paramount+).
  • The Blues and Los Blancos have everything to play for at Stamford Bridge after a 1-1 draw in the first league of the semifinals.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks things down below and gives his Real Madrid vs. Chelsea betting pick and prediction.

Chelsea vs. Real Madrid Odds

Chelsea Odds +117
Real Madrid Odds +250
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (+114 / -141)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
TV Paramount+
Odds updated Tuesday afternoon via DraftKings.

Chelsea and Real Madrid have everything to play for in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal tie after a 1-1 draw in Madrid.

Real Madrid is in search of their fifth Champions League final in the last seven years. They’ll need to play aggressively and go for it with Chelsea having secured an advantage thanks to an away goal.

In the knockout stage, Real Madrid have three wins and two draws, while outscoring their opponents 8-3. Will Los Blancos be able to use their experience to get back to the Champions League final?

Chelsea has been outstanding under Tuchel and are 90 minutes away from a date with Manchester City in the final. The Blues were clinical early on with an amazing goal from American Christian Pulisic.

Thomas Tuchel’s side put on a defensive masterclass after Real Madrid scored the equalizer and now only need a 0-0 draw to advance. Under Tuchel, the Blues only have two losses in all competitions since Jan. 27.

They put on a defensive masterclass in both of their knockout ties to close out Atlético Madrid and Porto, giving up only one goal between the four games, so we’ll see if they can do the same to Real Madrid.

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Chelsea

The Chelsea defense was outstanding in the first leg. Outside of the Karim Benzema goal, Chelsea only allowed 0.31 xG from open play. That’s not out of the norm for Tuchel’s team, as defense has been its strong suit since the German took over for Frank Lampard. The Blues’ defense is allowing only 0.58 xG per match in the Premier League and Champions League combined under Tuchel.

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 formation did somewhat confuse Real Madrid as Jorginho and N’Golo Kante outplayed Real Madrid’s dynamic midfield, which is not something many saw coming.

Since Chelsea only needs a scoreless draw from this one, I think we will see one of the best defenses in the world sit back and try to hit Real Madrid on the counter attack.

Real Madrid

Los Blancos have been on a great run since the calendar turned to 2021, which continued over the weekend with a 2-0 win over Osasuna 2-0. Real held them to only 0.07 xG in the match. Zinedine Zidane’s team has only one loss in all competitions with a +18.18 xGD in the process.

Zidane tried to play a 3-5-2 system in the first leg due to the injuries to their defense. It’s a system that Real Madrid have not played out of in La Liga, but utilized in their second leg match against Atalanta in the Round of 16. My guess for the reason for the change is that that system matches up against the 3-4-2-1 better than the 4-3-3, since Atalanta also plays out of a 3-4-2-1. It will be interesting to see if Zidane goes back to his patented 4-3-3 or sticks with the 3-5-2 in the second leg.

Now, Real Madrid has to play aggressive and commit men forward, which is something new for them in the Champions League knockout stage, having had leads against both Atalanta and Liverpool after the first leg. Karim Benzema will likely have to be the man to lead the charge. The Frenchman leads the team with 0.65 xG per 90 minutes.

What will be interesting to see is how Zidane sets his team up tactically. He’s one of the best managers in the world on that front, and Real Madrid is one of the most disciplined teams in the world. It will be fascinating to see how Real Madrid are able to break down Tuchel’s fantastic defense.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

This is an interesting encounter with Real Madrid having to have one foot on the pedal to try and get and get an away goal. Chelsea’s defense has shown that it’s up to the task of holding Real Madrid’s attack in check.

Like the first meeting, I think this match is going to be very defensive with Chelsea just needing a 0-0. Therefore, I am going to back Under 2 goals at +135 (DraftKings)

Pick: Under 2 goals (+135)

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