Chelsea vs Barcelona Preview and Prediction:
|Competition||UEFA Champions League|
|Start Date||20 Feb 2018 – 19:45 GMT|
Chelsea face a big test in their Champions League ambitions as they take on Barcelona in the last-sixteen of the competition.
Barcelona’s fierce opponents real Madrid may have ruled the Champions League with 3 triumphs in the final four years, but Ernesto Valverde’s side are flying high at the top of la Liga and, of course, have the magic of Lionel Messi.
it has been a difficult premier League title defence for Antonio Conte’s Blues as Manchester city run away at the top of the table, however a nice end result in opposition to Barca at Stamford Bridge will be the springboard Chelsea want to end their season on a high.
HEAD TO HEAD
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will have to decide whether to recall Alvaro Morata to the starting XI following his return to fitness or stick with an in-form Olivier Giroud.
Conte has discovered Marcos Alonso can be fine to face Barcelona after a 3-game absence, however Tiemoué Bakayoko is not going to recover in time.
Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger are in competition for a starting berth in Chelsea’s back three on Tuesday.
David Luiz and Ross Barkley are also doubts for the home side however neither would have started if fit.
Philippe Coutinho is ineligible for Barcelona after featuring in the group stage for Liverpool.
Ousmane Dembélé is in shape sufficient to travel to London and could compete with Paulinho for a start on the right flank.
Thomas Vermaelen will travel with the squad despite his injury concerns, however Nélson Semedo is suspended for the away side.
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Expected Lineups Of Chelsea vs Barcelona
Defense: Azpilicueta (RCB), Christensen (CB), Rudiger (LCB)
Midfield: Moses (RM), Fabregas (RCM), Kante (LCM), Zappacosta (LM)
Attack: Pedro (RW), Hazard (CF), Willian (LW)
GK: Ter Stegen
Defense: Roberto (RB), Pique (RCB), Umtiti (LCB), Alba (LB)
Midfield: Rakitic (RM), Busquets (CDM), Paulinho (CM), Iniesta (LM)
Attack: Messi (CF), Suarez (ST)
- After a run of 3 defeats in four matches, Chelsea have won their final matches by an aggregate scoreline of 7-0. The Blues have only lost of 16 home matches in opposition to Spanish sides.
- Barcelona are favourites for this season’s Champions League and have only lost one game all season. Ernesto Valverde’s side have kept clean sheets in four of their last 5 matches and are yet to concede away from home in the Champions League this season.
- Lionel Messi has never scored towards Chelsea (8 matches), that is his worst record towards an opponent. He has only won once against the premier League giants and that record will have to improve if Barcelona are to progress.