Chelsea have been drawn against Champions League holders Real Madrid in the quarter finals (Picture: Sky Sports / Getty)
Paul Merson has backed Chelsea to cause a Champions League upset by knocking out the holders Real Madrid.
The two European heavyweights were drawn together in the competition for the third season in a row following Friday’s draw.
Real continued their defence of the trophy they won last season with a thumping 6-2 aggregate win against Liverpool which underlined their status as the team to beat, despite their indifferent domestic form.
Chelsea, meanwhile, came from behind and overturned a first leg deficit to eliminate Borussia Dortmund and look to have turned a significant corner under Graham Potter.
The Blues will look to make it four successive wins against relegation candidates Everton on Saturday and with momentum in their favour, Merson believes Potter is capable of masterminding what would be the most significant victory of his career by defeat Carlo Ancelotti’s Champions League serial winners.
‘They’ve got good players,’ Merson told Sky Sports. ‘You look at the team last week and he’s gone three at the back. He’s gone solid at the back and gone I’ve got a lot of talent going forward.
‘When you go three at the back, believe it or not, you get more players getting forward because you’ve got the two wing-backs you’ve got Kovacic who can bomb forward and then you have three in front of them.
‘And that’s three from seven he’s got so much to choose from it’s about getting it right every week.’
‘These are dangerous. I think Chelsea are a dangerous, dangerous football team. The Champions League draw isn’t kind but I expect them to beat Real Madrid over two legs.’
Despite their obvious improvement, Merson fears Chelsea have left themselves with too much work to do in order to gatecrash the top four in the Premier League with 11 games of the season to go.
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He added: ‘I’d say there’s too much traffic in between them I think if they were chasing one team down you never know but when there’s that many teams in front you win today, three other teams might win and nothing changes.
‘If you’re chasing one team and they win and you lose there’s a three point swing. I don’t see them being in the Champions League places but they are in a position where they can rest people before the Real Madrid game.
‘He can rest 10 players that he believes will play against Real Madrid. I think they’re dangerous. Three or four weeks ago they’d look and think they wouldn’t mind …read more