Thomas Tuchel warns Chelsea players over Sergio Ramos ahead of decisive Real Madrid clash

Chelsea: Tuchel says Mount Mason is 'full package'

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has urged his players to ignore any mind games from Sergio Ramos when Real Madrid visit Stamford Bridge for Wednesday evening’s crucial Champions League semi-final clash. The experienced defender has rarely featured all season after spending much of the campaign on the treatment table, but appears to be in contention to start against the Blues.

Chelsea will go into Wednesday’s second-leg match with high hopes of reaching their first Champions League final since 2012, with the aggregate score level at 1-1 after the first leg in Madrid.

Christian Pulisic’s strike gave the Blues a crucial away goal, and a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge will be the priority for Tuchel’s side in order to see off the challenge posed by the 13-time winners.

However, another goal or two would be hugely beneficial, but it remains to be seen whether the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in attack will be forced to do battle with Real skipper Ramos.

The 35-year-old watched the first leg from the stands but returned to full training on Tuesday, suggesting that an imminent return to action could be on the cards.

He has not played for over a month after picking up a calf problem, and could fill in for Raphael Varane, who is struggling with a thigh injury, at the heart of Real’s defence.

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Speaking on Tuesday, Tuchel admitted that he was confident of Ramos starting against Chelsea, but stressed that his players are not scared of the challenge before issuing a call for calm.

“The main lesson is we can trust ourselves and have the right to be in the semi-finals,” the German boss told reporters.

“We should be self-confident, have absolutely no fear to face this challenge because we deserve to be there and can perform at that level again. This is the main lesson.

“Does Ramos play or not? This is a tough question because I don’t know if he’s fit or not. We’ll see after training and when they give the line-up.

“Does it change for Real Madrid? Yes, it changes them a lot. He’s the captain of the most successful team in Europe in recent years.

“It changes a lot but we cannot lose our heads about this decision. I think that he will start, we will prepare for that and we have to make sure he can’t do it alone.”

Real boss Zinedine Zidane appeared to confirm that Ramos would be involved on Wednesday night in his pre-match press conference.

“I’m not taking a risk,” he said. “He is here with us so that means he is ready to play. That’s it.”

Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic will be the only absentee for Chelsea after failing to recover from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of action in recent weeks.

Antonio Rudiger is set to start the match after missing Saturday’s win over Fulham, with Tuchel revealing that he will be donning a protective mask for Wednesday’s season-defining clash.

“For the injuries I can just give you the status right now, which is Mateo will not be in the squad,” added the Chelsea boss.

“I think that Toni will play with a mask because he trained yesterday with a mask.”

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