Chelsea tackle 14-time European winners Real Madrid in a pivotal Champions League quarter-final tonight as the Blues attempt to rescue their spiralling season.
Club legend Frank Lampard, who was sacked by Everton earlier this year, was appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the campaign and will take charge of his first-ever meeting with Los Blancos.
There will be no room for error for the Blues this evening as the reigning European Champions will show no mercy in a competition in which they are the specialists.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side knocked the West London outfit out at this stage of the knockouts last season on their journey to the title, but they will be well aware of the threat Chelsea pose having been 3-0 at one stage in the second leg.
However, if Lampard wants to avoid a similar performance that saw his team comfortably overturned by Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last outing, then he should consider dropping Kai Havertz, who produced yet another disenchanting and underwhelming showing last tie out.
Should Chelsea drop Havertz vs Real Madrid?
The 23-year-old has made the most appearances (39) and played the most minutes (2801) in all competitions this season of any Blues player this term, and has been partly responsible for Chelsea’s shocking drop into midtable mediocrity.
It was originally Lampard who secured the signing of the German in his first spell at the Stamford Bridge helm in the summer of 2020 and Havertz arrived with a magnificent reputation after he registered 77 goal contributions in 150 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen.
At the time, former Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, said: “Kai is one of the best players of his age in world football.”
However, despite scoring the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final to embed himself into Blues folklore, the forward has largely endured a stuttering and inconsistent career in England and has failed to imprint any lasting influence upon the Premier League.
His time at Chelsea was embodied by an anonymous performance as the focal point in the defeat to Wolves.
As per Sofascore, the attacker only amassed 0.2 xG, and failed to have any shots on target or complete any accurate crosses, long balls, and successful dribbles. Furthermore, he only managed 31 touches – 17 fewer than even the goalkeeper – and substituted after only 61 minutes to underline this woeful cameo.
Against the aggressive pairing of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao, Chelsea will need a more dynamic and in-form frontman if they are to stand any chance of progressing.