Chelsea Women vs. Real Madrid, UWCL preview, predicted XI

In the penultimate match for Chelsea Women in the UEFA Women's Champions League group stages, the Blues take on already eliminated Real Madrid.
Chelsea FC  v Manchester United - Barclays Women´s Super League
Chelsea FC v Manchester United - Barclays Women´s Super League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages
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Emma Hayes
Chelsea FC v Manchester United - Barclays Women´s Super League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Emma Hayes' side need just one triumph from its final two European fixtures this month to guarantee qualification for the quarterfinals. In order finish top of the group, and avoid drawing Barcelona or Lyon, at least in the quarters, the west Londoners may need to win out.

The starting XI on Sunday, while it was strong gave some rest to regulars like Jess Carter, Sjoeke Nusken, Eve Perisset, and Fran Kirby. Expect all four to start in the mid-week given the turnaround while Zecira Musovic will likely take her place back between the sticks. Charles was the X-factor against this side in the the reverse fixture, playing a role in both goals. That was the last time Charles found the back of the net. The English defender, who assisted two at the Bridge earlier this year will surely have her eyes on repeating that performance.

There are still questions about replacing the threat that is Sam Kerr, especially in this competition. Erin Cuthbert is the only other player outside of the Australian so far for the Chels to have more than one goal in European play. It's been a team effort so far, from what we've seen. Hayes should ride the red-hot boots of Lauren James, likely deploying her in the nine role, a position she slotted into for part of the second half against Manchester United.

While Las Blancas don't have much to play for, they'll without question be hungry after getting trounced by their rivals last time out. At the end of the day, it's still Real Madrid. We're not talking about a bottom table WSL outfit. If the Chels come out with the kind of intensity it did on Sunday, Toril is going to be in for a long night in the SW6.

Chelsea Women vs. Real Madrid predicted starting XI

Goalkeeper: Zecira Musovic

Defenders: Jess Carter, Niamh Charles, Eve Perisset, Nathalie Björn

Midfielders: Erin Cuthbert, Sjoeke Nusken, Fran Kirby

Forwards: Lauren James, Guro Reiten, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd

Chelsea Women vs. Real Madrid match info

Date: Wednesday, January 24

Time: 20:00 GMT, 3:00 p.m. EST

TV Broadcast: DAZN on YouTube

Be sure to purchase your tickets for Chelsea Women's final UEFA Women's Champions League group stage match this season at Stamford Bridge.