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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Gary Neville and Michael Owen in agreement over outcome of Chelsea's clash with Real Madrid

  Chelsea have plenty of work to do in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid tonight. While a 6-0 thras...


Chelsea have plenty of work to do in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid tonight. While a 6-0 thrashing of Southampton has given many confidence, both Gary Neville and Michael Owen think the task in Spain will prove too much for the Blues.

Saturday's emphatic result was a much-needed one after Thomas Tuchel's side had lost twice in a row. Last weekend saw Brentford come away from Stamford Bridge with a 4-1 win before Real Madrid also won comfortably in west London, a Karim Benzema hat-trick helping them to a 3-1 victory.

Having won last season's tournament, the Blues will not have given up hope of overturning the deficit. But there is no doubting that a mammoth task lies ahead, with Madrid notoriously ruthless in the knock-out stages over recent years.

The pundits are not too optimistic either, with Owen among those to predict an exit from the Champions League for Chelsea tonight. “That was a brilliant result for Real Madrid in London," he wrote in his BetVictor predictions of the 3-1 victory last Wednesday.

"There’s only one man to talk about, Karim Benzema. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two better headers in the same game. He’s in the form of his life and is such a talisman for this side. Chelsea had chances at Stamford Bridge and probably should have scored more. I can see them scoring in Madrid, but Real are so experienced and will do enough to go through. 1-1.”

Neville echoed the thoughts of his former Manchester United teammate. While appreciating the importance of their thrashing of Southampton, he sided with Madrid when it came to tonight's clash.

"It was a good win for them [Chelsea against Southampton]," Neville said on Sky Sports. "They are the third-best team in the country, they're consistent, they've got a great manager. Their spirit hasn't been dampened in the last few weeks, they have a strong group.

"I'm not sure they are going to continue in the Champions League, but that is what it is, they're playing against Real Madrid. From that point of view, I think for Chelsea, over the next few weeks: cement third-place, get the season over, get new owners in and they need to make sure they keep their manager.

"They need to keep the behind-the-scenes staff on the footballing side. Also, they need to keep their players in place. They need to stabilise."

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