Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will most likely miss the first leg tie against Chelsea after testing positive for COVID-19. The teams lock horns on Thursday (IST) at the Stamford Bridge. 

Chelsea, the defending champions, mired in off-field problems with the club up for sale. Real Madrid, on the other hand, will look to put up a better showing against the Blues than last season, when the 13-time champions were held to a draw at home and beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. 

Also read: Ligue 1: Mbappe runs the show in PSG’s 5-1 win over Lorient as Messi, Neymar also score

Ancelotti had tested positive for the coronavirus last week. He did not travel with the team to the UK. The Italian will only be able to make it for the tie if he tests negative. 

The coach was missing from Real Madrid’s 2-1 La Liga win over Celta Vigo on Saturday. Assistant coach Davide Ancelotti, his son, was among those in charge. 

Also read: Premier League: In-form Crystal Palace routs Arsenal 3-0

Carlos Ancelotti had reported minor COVID symptoms last week. He is trying to win his second Champions League with Madrid after helping the club lift the European trophy in 2014.

As the two European giants meet, the spotlight will be on the likes of Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy, who returned to action for Madrid on Saturday after nursing injuries. 

Ancelotti had been the target of criticism in Spain after the team’s demoralizing 4-0 loss to Barcelona at home in the Spanish league last month, when his experiments with the squad backfired.

With Benzema out injured, Ancelotti tried to use Luka Modric in the false-nine position instead of adding another forward, but the move didn’t work and Barcelona easily built the victory at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

Also read: Champions League: Benfica-Liverpool, Manchester City-Atlético Madrid to face off

Madrid had won five games in a row in all competitions before the loss to Barcelona, including beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the second leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League when Benzema rallied the team with a second-half hat trick after losing the first leg in Paris 1-0.

Madrid hasn’t won in its last five trips to face English clubs, with three losses.