Champions League: Eden Hazard to start for Real Madrid against former club

Eden Hazard will start tonight’s second leg Champions League semi-final against his former club, Chelsea.

Coming home to Stamford Bridge will be a special occasion for the Belgian international, who spent seven years with the Blues before joining Real Madrid for $114m in 2019.

It could be Hazard’s biggest game of his career. He’s hardly played the last two seasons due to injury, with many doubting his return to greatness.

“We know what a good player Hazard can be. It’s a shame that he hasn’t been available in the last few months because of injuries. However, he’s now doing better fitness-wise, which is so important for him to produce his best,” said Toni Kroos during pre-game.

The Ramos effect, Pulisic bench

Sergio Ramos also gets the start tonight in seven weeks, after fully recovering into match fitness from the coronavirus. The Spaniard has helped Madrid win 65% of their games this season in all competitions when he’s available versus 55.6% without him, according to OptaJose.

Thomas Tuchel is going for an all-German attack as well as he leaves Christian Pulisic on the bench. The in-form American scored the club’s only goal to give The Blues the aggregate advantage in leg one.

Here are tonight’s starters for tonight’s clash of titans:

Real Madrid XI vs. Chelsea: Courtois, Mendy, Sergio Ramos, Militao, Nacho, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Hazard, Benzema, Vinicius.

Chelsea XI vs. Real Madrid: Mendy, Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, Chiwell, Mount, Havertz, Werner. )

(Photo: Twitter/@AbsoluteChelsea)

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