Villarreal also host Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals; Chelsea continue their Champions League title defence against Real Madrid
Wednesday 6 April 2022 20:42, UK
The Champions League continues this week and after Man City and Liverpool won on Tuesday, it's Chelsea's turn to take centre stage as they bid to reach the semi-finals.
The first legs of the quarter-finals continue on Wednesday, with reigning champions Chelsea hosting Real Madrid and Villarreal taking on Bayern Munich ahead of the second legs next week.
Champions League holders Chelsea come into their first leg this week off the back of a shock 4-1 defeat to Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.
"Once we had [the opener] we stopped defending and gave three goals away in 10 minutes. It was very untypical and killed the game for us," Blues boss Thomas Tuchel said after the game.
After a relatively easy last-16 tie with Lille, which Chelsea won 4-1 on aggregate, they face a much sterner test in 13-times Champions League winners Real Madrid.
They had a much tougher last-16 match, producing an astonishing comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on aggregate. However, a damaging recent El Clasico defeat to Barcelona - losing 4-0 in La Liga - shows Real Madrid may not be the daunting opponents the draw would suggest.
Chelsea trio Jorginho, Reece James and Mateo Kovacic could all return to Thomas Tuchel's starting line, having been on the bench for their 4-1 defeat at home to Brentford at the weekend.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea star Eden Hazard has not travelled with the Real Madrid squad to London after undergoing an operation to remove a metal plate in his right leg.
Forwards Luka Jovic and Isco are also missing for the visitors.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has issued a rallying cry to Chelsea fans ahead of their Champions League first-leg tie with Real Madrid.
He said that he needs the Stamford Bridge crowd to "be better" when the 13-time European champions visit on Wednesday, but accepted that his team are also responsible for providing the "spark" on the pitch.
"We need to be better on the pitch, we are the first to admit it," the German conceded. "But we need the crowd to be better. It's a big opponent and a big occasion.
"Normally we have these kinds of atmospheres in these evening games and big matches this season. It gives us a huge push in terms of atmosphere and energy. We need it. It's crucial in these types of games.
"It's super hard, much harder to play against the spectators as well. We will face it in Madrid next week. Everybody needs to be on top level. We need to set the spark, but everyone needs to arrive tomorrow ready to support."
Real could be without influential and experienced manager Carlo Ancelotti on Wednesday, with the ex-Chelsea boss dealing with Covid-19.
The Italian will fly to London on Wednesday if he can test negative for Covid, otherwise his son and assistant Davide will take charge at Chelsea.
"We are lucky that the assistant is his son so they are quite similar," said Thibaut Courtois.
"We know how he wants us to train. There is a big team of coaches behind him and we are all doing well. He has been involved in video calls so we are well prepared.
"Of course it is different if he is in the dugout in terms of a half-time team talk but the coaches have done well."
Meanwhile, Tuchel hopes Carlo Ancelotti can shake off his positive Covid-19 test in time to be on the touchline for Chelsea's Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Real's former Chelsea boss Ancelotti did not travel with Madrid to London on Tuesday, as he continues to return positive coronavirus tests. The 62-year-old still hopes to return a negative test in time to fly to London for the match at Stamford Bridge.
Ancelotti's absence would doubtless prove a blow to Madrid, but Chelsea boss Tuchel still hopes his counterpart can be in the dugout.
Tuchel missed Chelsea's Club World Cup semi-final after a positive Covid test, but was able to jet out to Abu Dhabi in time to coach the Blues to their triumph over Palmeiras in the final on February 12. And the German insisted he could not wish that experience on any of his managerial colleagues.
Asked if Ancelotti's potential absence could affect Madrid, Tuchel replied: "Well, it does, but nowadays you are in charge of media, of virtual help, so I'm pretty sure he can do the team talks and be in touch with players. But it's always much better and nicer to be there and have direct influence.
"It's what we as coaches love the most, to be in the middle of the group, constantly communicate not only with words, but also with a smile, a hug. I hope he still makes it, I have the information he will try to arrive in the evening. He's a big, big coach, big personality, it would be nice to have him on the sideline in these kinds of games."
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will come face-to-face with international team-mate Romelu Lukaku in
Lukaku has struggled to impose himself on Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea since his club-record £98m move from Inter Milan last summer.
The 28-year-old remains determined to prove his worth though, and Real Madrid stopper Courtois backed his compatriot to emerge stronger from his testing recent times.
"Romelu's an excellent player and someone I know well from the international team of course," said Courtois. "He's a great striker, so it's a bit strange not to see him play so much lately, but I'm sure he will come through it.
"Sometimes you just need a little bit of adaptation. I had the same thing in my first year at Madrid. And I'm sure he will come good. You come to a change in tactics, a change in team, a change in trainer and you have to adapt to everything.
"So I'm sure he will come good but I hope it's not tomorrow, maybe he can wait one more week!"
Tuesday February 15
Wednesday February 16
Tuesday February 22
Wednesday February 23
Tuesday March 8
Wednesday March 9
Tuesday March 15
Wednesday March 16
First leg fixtures
Tuesday April 5
Wednesday April 6
Tuesday April 12
Wednesday April 13
Benfica/Liverpool vs Villarreal/Bayern Munich
Man City/Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea/Real Madrid
First legs scheduled to be played on Tuesday April 26 and Wednesday April 27; second legs on Tuesday May 3 and Wednesday May 4.
Scheduled to be played on Saturday May 28 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis.