Thomas Tuchel says it will be “almost impossible” for Chelsea to avoid a UEFA Champions League exit but they must dream of fighting back to knock Real Madrid out.
Karim Benzema handed the managers a 3-1 defeat in the first leg of the quarter-final at Stamford Bridge last week.
Chelsea responded to the defeat by beating Southampton 6-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, while Madrid remained in contention for the LaLiga title with a 2-0 win over Getafe.
The Blues, who will be without Romelu Lukaku to record a hamstring injury due to Achilles’ injury, have a mountain to climb at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday and Tuchel is right about their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals.
But the German midfielder expects his team to fight harder than they did in London last week.
He said: “It’s one of the biggest challenges to do as an away team at the Bernabeu. If you have to win by at least two goals, it’s very difficult, almost impossible. We need to do too much.
He added: “We have never managed to put in our effort with the opportunities we have to get results, we have never done it and we will not start tomorrow by giving less because we are less likely to succeed.
“Impossible, but we will try, we will playfully. Great night and great game and we will try to be in a better position and be in a better position than in the first leg.”
Tuchel says Chelsea should arrive in the Spanish capital believing it can return.
“We need nothing more than a beautiful text,” he said. “Work is incredibly high after the first leg. You are always allowed to dream and sometimes it is important to think and dream about things, but that does not change the reality we need to be ready to achieve.
“We will try hard, it’s worth a try. I hope we can achieve our dream, but we really have to invest a lot.”
Cesar Azpilicueta has been diagnosed with COVID-19, with Callum Hudson-Odoi sidelined due to Achilles’ injury and Ross Barkley out due to illness.