How Chelsea could line-up against Real Madrid with Kovacic out and Havertz brought in for Champions League semi-final

CHELSEA travel to Real Madrid for their Champions League semi-final first-leg on Tuesday.

The Blues will be without Mateo Kovacic but Thomas Tuchel could be set to recall Kai Havertz to the starting XI.

Chelsea go into the game off the back of a narrow 1-0 win over top-four rivals West Ham on Saturday.

N'Golo Kante and Jorginho started in central midfield at the London Stadium and they will probably do so again at the Bernabeu as Kovacic is still not ready to return from his hamstring injury.

The Blues have not conceded in their last three games and after another clean sheet at the weekend, Tuchel could start with the same back-five.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Ben Chilwell were wing-backs with Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger in the middle.

But Reece James is also back in contention meaning Azpilicueta could drop back into the central three which could see Christensen harshly dropped after a brilliant display at West Ham.

Timo Werner will start again after ending his goal drought in East London with his first goal in seven games.

Regular starter Mason Mount will play in an attacking role and Havertz could be recalled.

Christian Pulisic is likely to be the one to drop out having not scored since Crystal Palace away on April 10.


But Hakim Ziyech is also in with a shout of a start having scored the winner in Chelsea's recent FA Cup semi-final win against Manchester City at Wembley.

There is also an outside chance Marcos Alonso could be drafted back in if Tuchel decides to keep it tight for the first leg in Spain.

But that would be harsh on Chilwell who looked composed on Saturday.

Tuesday's mega-clash could have an extra layer of drama as Chelsea are said to be leading the race to sign Real centre-back Raphael Varane.

The Frenchman is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract and has yet to agree terms on an extension.

That could force the LaLiga giants to cash in this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing the following year.

The defender, who celebrated his 28th birthday yesterday, remains a key man for Zinedine Zidane’s side and has only missed five games this campaign.

But Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo claims he remains unconvinced about committing his future to Madrid.

They report Chelsea are willing to splash out £61million to bring the World Cup winner to Stamford Bridge.

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