Barcelona is coming to Chelsea in one of the most anticipated clashes of the 1/8-finals in the Champions League. The instant form favors the Catalonians, but Chelsea is the most dangerous when underestimated. Both teams have a rich history of meetings with each other, all after 2000. Interestingly, out of a total of 12 matches, only two are in the group stage of the WS and the other 10 are in the eliminations.
For the last time, the rivals went out against each other in the semi-finals in the 2011/12 season, when Chelsea continued after Stamford Bridge 1: 0 and Camp Nou 2: 2. Since then, Barça’s Pedro Rodriguez and Cesc Fabregas are already in the “blue” of London. The most memorable were the games in 2009. Then the two teams were again rivals of the semi-finals and the first game ended 0: 0. On the rebound in England, Chelsea led and was already in the final, but Andres Iniesta’s goal in the added time brought Barca’s final success.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has to decide who to start at the top of the attack. More likely, this is Alvaro Morata, who has already been fully rebuilt, but Olivier Girush has chances after having already scored his first goal for the team. Marcos Alonso will return to the squad, but Tiemue Bakayoko will miss the game. David Lewis and Ross Barkley will be at least questionable, but even if they fall into the group, they will not be holders. The three defenders at Tibor Courtois will be Cesar Aspilquita, Andreas Christensen and Gary Kahill, and Ngolo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Daniel Drinquot will have to stop Barça’s midfielders and help Eden Azar in building the attacks. Barcez will not be able to play Philippe Coutinho who has already played matches in the Liverpool tournament. Lionel Messi will try to score his first goal against Chelsea in his ninth match against Londoners, and the magnificent Luis Suarez will be another big threat to the home side. Usman Dembele is healthy and is expected to be in the starting lineup of the Catalonians. Andres Iniesta, Sergio Buscques and Ivan Rakitic will be the rest in the midfield of Barça. Nelson Semedo is punished by defenders, but Valverde will be able to use the usual captains Serhi Roberto, Gerard Picket, Samuel Yumtiti and Jordi Alba.