Chelsea are going to be at risk of losing as many as six outfield players in the second leg when they take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It must be noted that players are liable for an automatic suspension for the next Champions League match after three yellow cards.
For Chelsea, the likes of Thiago Silva, Reece James, Kalidou Koulibaly, Conor Gallagher, Mykhailo Mudryk and Kepa Arrizabalaga are the six players who have already received two bookings in Europe this season.
On the contrary, Real Madrid have been quite a disciplined unit as do not have any such troubles to take care of.
Interestingly for Madrid, Chelsea are also reeling with a few injury issues. This includes the uncertainty of Thiago Silva’s participation in the contest as well.
The veteran Brazilian has been out of action since suffering a knee injury during the Blues’ 2-0 defeat against Tottenham in February and although he did return to training recently, it remains to be seen if Frank Lampard will actually use him from the start or not.
On the other hand, Mason Mount is eligible to play for the Blues after serving his suspension, but as it turns out, the young attacking midfielder is still recovering from his abdominal issue. Similarly, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is yet to recover from his head injury.
At the same time, the likes of Benoit Badiashile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Noni Madueke and David Datro Fofana are not part of Chelsea’s Champions League squad, meaning that options for Lampard are going to be somewhat limited.
For Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy remains the only notable absentee for this fixture while the rest of the squad is available for selection.
Real Madrid may look to sell 24-year-old star if top target arrives in the summer – report
Real Madrid are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to assemble an even stronger squad for the upcoming campaign.
Kylian Mbappe and Alphonso Davies are the club’s top targets in that regard, for the two new signings will be regular starters and bonafide difference makers on the field for Los Blancos.
The latter, in particular, arrives to reinforce a position where none of Carlo Ancelotti’s current options are convincing. Fran Garcia and Ferland Mendy have both had their hiccups at the left-back position for Real Madrid, leaving the position open for Davies to take over.
A potential departure
As revealed by MARCA, Davies’ arrival next season will jeopardise Garcia’s importance in the team for the Canadian will be the manager’s first choice by a mile.
Moreover, Ancelotti is said to be in favour of renewing Mendy, implying that Garcia will practically be his third choice.
Come summer, Garcia could thus be sold if the club receive an offer that they can make money off. Considering that they shelled out €5 million last summer for his incorporation, any offer north of that mark could do the job.
In 18 appearances and 11 starts in La Liga this season, the 24-year-old has provided four assists for Los Blancos. Interestingly, he has started just one of Real Madrid’s last six games across all competitions.
As revealed earlier this week, Real Madrid have reached a verbal agreement with Alphonso Davies. An agreement with Bayern Munich over a transfer fee could be a difficult proposition, however.
As such, it is unclear if Los Blancos will make the move for Davies this summer at a subsidised fee or wait until next year when the player will be a free agent.
Garcia’s future, needless to say, depends on their plan of action on the Davies front.