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Thomas Tuchel Delivers Verdict on Real Madrid & Karim Benzema Ahead of Champions League Clash

Thomas Tuchel has hailed Real Madrid and Karim Benzema ahead of Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday night.

Real Madrid, who will have manager Carlo Ancelotti on the touchline after he tested negative for Covid-19, head to Stamford Bridge for the first leg.

Chelsea knocked the 13-time Champions League winners out of the competition last season at the semi-final stage as Tuchel's men clinched glory in Porto last May. 

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After Chelsea beat Lille and Real progressed past PSG in the last-16, the two sides were drawn against each other in the quarters.

It's home advantage for Chelsea first time round, but they come into the European meeting off the back of a 4-1 defeat to Brentford.

There is no better way for the current holders to bounce back with a big result against Real heading into the second leg in Madrid next Tuesday. 

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Tuchel is expecting a tough match against the Spanish side and pointed out the threat of Karim Benzema, as well as several other key threats who will pose problems for the Blues on Wednesday night. 

What Thomas Tuchel said

Ahead of Real's visit of Stamford Bridge, Tuchel told reporters on Tuesday"I think it has nothing to do with last season's game. Honestly. I did not look at it in the preparation. We did not look at last year's matches. That maybe answers the question.

"For us, there is not a point to prove again or whatever. We are out there to bounce back from Saturday's performance.

“I gave all the praise to Karim Benzema. I said two years ago he was one of the most underrated players in world football, maybe not anymore. He deserves the praise for playing for so many years for Real Madrid. What he did to overcome the last stage for them, to carry responsibility. What a key part he plays for them as a captain now is very impressive. You can see what happens with the team in his absence. For sure a standout player and personality. 

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"It is unfair in this moment, to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro - the guys who carry this team for almost a decade now. They are huge personalities, who I am genuinely a fan about - for sure not today, for sure not tomorrow!

“It’s hard to keep their record, they won it three times (in a row) and it’s an incredibly hard tournament. They trusted a same squad for a long period of time but it's normal that cycles like this change at some point. In terms of a winning streak, reaching the final, maybe this is what happened. But we should be very aware that teams with this kind of experience, this kind of quality, flair can produce special nights and a special occasion. For us, it's also a special occasion to play against Real Madrid and it's why we feel pretty excited. We don’t lose too much sleep to think about where they are in Europe, we want to prove a point tomorrow again to ourselves. That’s our target. The opponent is special, the occasion is special so that’s why we are very excited for it.” 


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