Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will look to frustrate Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos during the second leg of their Champions League semi-final by giving him no-one to “fight” with.
The crunch continental clash is locked at 1-1 on aggregate heading back to Stamford Bridge.
World Cup winner Ramos is set to return to action in that contest, with Tuchel mulling over how best to approach that challenge after regularly favouring a system that incorporates a false nine over recent weeks.
Tuchel told Chelsea’s official website, with Kai Havertz often being asked to lead the line of late: “If we play with no striker at all and Ramos has nothing to fight then that can also be a solution. I have not made my mind up yet.
“It’s another challenge because he is the leader of their group and he is the guy to give a lot of solutions to any questions that we will hopefully ask them. We will wait and see who is in good shape and good form, what shape we play and where we try to hurt them.
“I’m not too sure if they will play again with five or go back to four [in defence] so there are many questions but we don’t need the answers now. It’s enough if we have them on Wednesday.”
While Real are hoping to see Ramos line up at the heart of their defence, Chelsea are eager to see Antonio Rudiger form part of their back line.
The Germany international suffered a facial injury in Madrid, but he should be okay to start on Wednesday as Mateo Kovacic faces a race against time to put himself in contention for a meeting with former employers.
Tuchel added: “For Toni, I think he will play with a mask. He trained on Saturday with a mask so it’s just about him getting used to it.
“It will be a very tight race for Kovacic. He had a little setback and felt something in not the same area but the same muscle as before. It’s very likely that he will not make it unfortunately.
“We have two training sessions now to prepare for Real Madrid so it will be exciting. I’m very happy with this group in the semi-final. We feel ready for a big fight and I’m pretty sure that we need a big performance because Real Madrid will give us a hard time.”