Chelsea must overturn a 2-0 deficit if they are to save their season when Real Madrid come to town on Tuesday for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
The Blues are on a historically ugly run of form and confidence could hardly be lower heading into the visit of the reigning European champions, but Frank Lampard has warned the doubters that ‘special things can happen at Stamford Bridge’.
Here’s the lineup Lampard may call on for this attempted miracle.
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – Lampard has kept his faith with Kepa, who may be the only Chelsea favour feeling good after his impressive performance against Brighton.
CB: Trevoh Chalobah – More defensive stability is needed and so Lampard may opt to shift Chalobah into his back line.
CB: Thiago Silva – The veteran was rested at the weekend to keep his 38-year-old legs fresh for this one.
CB: Wesley Fofana – Fofana has been solid in recent weeks and brings the sort of energy needed to try and contain Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
RM: Reece James – Attacking is James’ strongest point but he’ll be needed at the other end of the field to try and stop Vinicius.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – The former Real Madrid man has been linked with a return to the Bernabeu but still has a job to do here.
CM: N’Golo Kante – Rested at the weekend, Kante is a big-game player who will be needed if Chelsea are to survive this.
CM: Enzo Fernandez – The classy Fernandez was outplayed by Real’s star-studded midfield last week but will relish the challenge of trying to even the scores.
LM: Marc Cucurella – Ben Chilwell’s red card, earned while covering for Cucurella, means the Spaniard is the only choice here.
ST: Joao Felix – Felix has a poor record against Real but is the only Chelsea forward who has really looked like creating anything of note in recent weeks, even if that hasn’t paid off.
ST: Kai Havertz – After missing the Brighton hammering through injury, Havertz is back in training and should return to the lineup.