Thomas Tuchel Preparing as if He Might Face Sergio Ramos

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel met the media today ahead of tomorrow night’s Champions League semifinal second leg against Real Madrid. The session yielded two major topics of newsworthiness- the potential return of team captain Sergio Ramos, and a potential contract extension for the Blues boss.

The west London club have the home field advantage tomorrow night, plus an away goal from the first leg. However, Tuchel knows that the Reyes Del Europa (Kings of Europe) are going to pose a tougher challenge in the return game now that they’ll have their central defender star man back in the fold.

Chelsea vs Real Madrid UCL Semis (Tie even at 1-1) FYIs 

Kick-off Time: 8:30 PM GMT, 5 May (Wednesday)

Starting XI Predictions:   Chelsea    Real Madrid

Team News:    Chelsea     Real Madrid

4 Players to watch in the UCL semis: go here

Form Guide All Competitions:  Real Madrid DWDDW    Chelsea WDWDW

real madrid isco

Sergio Ramos has been out since late March with a calf injury, but looks set to return here. That’s provided he passes a late fitness test, which it is expected he will. Tuchel is preparing as if he’ll be battling the polarizing centreback.

He said: “We should be self-confident and have absolutely no fear to face this challenge because we deserve to be there and we can perform on this level,” the 47-year-old German said.

“Does Ramos play or not? This is a tough question because I simply don’t know it. We will see after the training today and they give the line up tomorrow? Does it change Real Madrid?

“Yes, a lot because it is the captain, the captain of the most successful team in Europe in the last years so it changes a lot but we cannot lose our head about this decision.

“I think that he will start. We will prepare for that and we have to make sure that he cannot do it alone.”

sergio ramos

Chelsea had issues finishing off their chances in Madrid- that’s why the tie is only knotted up at 1-1. They’ll need to be much more clinical on Wednesday, especially if they’ll be facing Ramos.

As for Tuchel’s future, he took over on an 18-month deal in January after club legend Frank Lampard got the sack. Emerging victorious in 15 of his 23 games in charge, there is already talk of a contract extension.

And that is certainly well deserved.

Asked if extensions talks had commenced, Tuchel replied: “No, there is no time. There is no time and no need for this right now.”

Chelsea 2, Real Madrid 1 

Expect Tuchel to have the right gameplan enacted here to seal the deal.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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