Joe Cole reacts to Chelsea FC v Real Madrid Champions League draw

Joe Cole looks ahead to Chelsea FC's Champions League showdown with Real Madrid next month

BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)
BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)

Joe Cole is tipping Chelsea FC to progress through to the semi-finals of the Champions League at the expense of Real Madrid next month.

The south west London side were pitted against the Spanish giants in Friday’s draw and will take on Carlo Ancelotti’s team over two legs in April, with a spot in the last four at stake.

Chelsea FC beat Real Madrid in last season’s semi-finals en route to winning the competition under Thomas Tuchel.

And former Blues star Cole feels that the London side will be relatively happy with the draw despite having been pitted against the 13-time champions in the last eight.

Reacting to the draw on Friday, Cole said on BT Sport, as quoted by Metro: “Chelsea will be quite happy with that.

“They were comfortable against Madrid in the semi-final last year and not much has changed with the sides.

“I think all the English clubs will be happy to avoid each other. It could have been better for Chelsea, of course, but it could have been worse too.

“Last year, Real Madrid they looked like an ageing team against a young, vibrant Chelsea team. A year has past and not much has changed.

“I know Carlo Ancelotti has come in and they have quality, they’re Real Madrid, they will always be a threat. But I think Chelsea will be reasonably happy with that.”

Meanwhile, fellow BT Sport pundit and former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves also tipped Chelsea FC to progress to the last four.

“Chelsea will be super confident because they outplayed Real Madrid last year,” said Hargreaves. “Real Madrid are underdogs but they have real quality, it’s an incredible group of players.

“Chelsea will be wary because of Madrid’s experience. It’s a tough one, but I think Chelsea will go through.”

Chelsea FC will host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League clash on 6 April, with the return leg in Spain scheduled for 12 April.

Meanwhile, Liverpool FC were pitted against Portuguese side Benfica, and Manchester City will take on Atletico Madrid in the last eight.

Elsewhere, Chelsea FC defender Antonio Rudiger is likely to leave the club when his contract expires in the summer, according to reports in Italy.

The German defender is set to join Italian side Juventus, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Chelsea FC are back in Premier League action on 2 April when they host Brentford at Stamford Bridge.

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