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Chelsea manager Lampard looking forward to Real Madrid encounter: “Anything can happen”

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Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chelsea surprised everyone by appointing Frank Lampard as the interim manager after sacking Graham Potter earlier this month.

Lampard has rejoined the club as manager until the end of the season. His first spell at the club came between 2019 and early 2021, during which the Englishman was in charge of 84 competitive matches.

With Chelsea dawdling in mid-table, Lampard has a monumental task ahead of him, as he looks to steer the sinking ship. His second spell at the club did not start on the right note either, with the Blues suffering a defeat to Wolves.

An even bigger challenge awaits them in the UEFA Champions League, where Chelsea have been drawn against defending champions Real Madrid.

Speaking to the media after a defeat to Wolves, Lampard talked about the upcoming Real Madrid tie in the UCL quarterfinals, offering a rather diplomatic response.

“It’s a different competition, it will be a different type of game and it’s up to us to prepare in the right way and anything can happen. We respect the fact we’re playing the current holders so we have to focus on that now and cannot be too despondent,” he said (h/t TalkSport).

Chelsea will be heading into the tie after beating Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on aggregate, in the Round of 16 stage. Real Madrid, on the other hand, swept aside Premier League giants Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate.

While the odds certainly favour the Spanish giants, it is worth noting that the club have performed rather poorly in domestic competitions.

Although Real Madrid’s confidence will be boosted following a 4-0 drubbing of rivals Barcelona in Copa Del Rey, it is apparent that the team has looked far from perfect this season.

Only time will tell what transpires between these two clubs as they take each other at Santiago Bernabeu next midweek.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti sets a target for Real Madrid to achieve before facing Barcelona in La Liga

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid are currently the frontrunners to win the La Liga title this season, having established a solid lead atop the table.

After 26 matchdays, Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos have built a six-point lead over second-placed Girona and are eight clear of arch-rivals Barcelona in third.

Ancelotti sets a target

While Real Madrid have already faced Girona and Atletico Madrid twice in La Liga already, they still have to face Barcelona for the second time.

And, as per AS, manager Carlo Ancelotti has set a target for his Real Madrid side to achieve before they face off against Xavi Hernandez’s Barça in a few weeks.

Los Blancos host their bitter rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu in the weekend of April 20-21, in matchweek 32.

And before that, Ancelotti wants Real Madrid to reach 80 points in La Liga, which he believes is the safety point for his team to go on to win the title.

As things stand, the Merengues are on 65 points from 26 games and have five matches to play in the league before they face Barcelona.

And for them to achieve Ancelotti’s intended target, they will have to win each of their matches between now and April 20, which will be anything but straightforward.

After all, Real Madrid are set to face Valencia at a hostile Mestalla this weekend before they take on a Celta Vigo side battling to avoid relegation next week.

Following that, they face a tricky Osasuna side away from home and Athletic Club at home while they will also take on Copa del Rey finalists RCD Mallorca.

Ancelotti wants the La Liga title race wrapped up by this point so that the team can face Barcelona without any pressure and instead keep their focus on the UEFA Champions League, provided they progress in the tournament.

It will be easier said than done, but if we have learned anything from Real Madrid this season, it is that they thrive in the face of adversities.

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