When Chelsea faces Real Madrid on Wednesday night, you can be pretty confident that Raheem Sterling will be in the starting lineup. That’s because Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard has made comments indicating that he would like to see “the real” Sterling show up in big games.
So Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti now knows for certain, if he didn’t realize already that Sterling is someone he will specifically have to game plan against.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid UCL Quarterfinal Leg 1/2 FYIs
Kick: Wednesday, April 12, 2023 8 PM Local Time, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Real Madrid Preview Material: Team News Starting XI Prediction
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Win 90 Minute Result Probabilities: Chelsea 18%, Real Madrid 57%, Extra Time 25%
Sterling has basically flopped this season, as he’s scored just two goals since the World Cup break, and he’s got only seven in total for the entire 2022-23 campaign. Maybe Chelsea really is where the careers of forwards go to die, as Sterling was stellar at both Manchester City and Liverpool. It’s just not clicking for him in North London.
However, he is known for Champions League heroics, as he’s come up big, time and time again, during European competition.
“I think he’s a fantastic player,” Lampard said of the England international and winger.
“He’s been one of the best wingers in the world for a long time, at times, maybe in some people’s opinion, the best. I can’t remember how many times I’ve referenced to young wingers when I was here previously at Chelsea, at Derby and Everton actually — watch Raheem Sterling and see why he scores 20 goals a season plus so I have the highest feeling for him in that sense.
“[Of course] we also have to get the right team structure to make it best for the players and then drive them [but] I just think he’s a top player Those things are always kind of like 50/50 for me – getting the right structure for the player and then the player themselves but Raheem has shown what a player he is.
“[He] certainly is a player of a high level and a high competence level and understanding of the game that it won’t faze him. In fact, he’s risen to games like that before in the past so that’s something we’ll obviously rely on in terms of this because some elements of the squad are maybe a bit younger. Raheem has been there and done it and there’s history of producing.”
In the interests of trying to keep Sterling in a slump, and to shut down the rest of the team as well, here is what we think Ancelotti will go with in his first team.
Real Madrid Starting XI Prediction vs Chelsea (UCL)
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.