Barcelona v Chelsea | Conte and Chelsea need a miracle

Paola Ditto
Marzo 15, 2018

Barca are the favourites, at home, with an away goal in their favour, scored by Lionel Messi in the first leg.

"In the first leg we played a really good game — nearly a flawless game — against a team I consider one of the best in the world", Conte said.

Antonio Rudiger is available for the visitors after he was rested for Chelsea's victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend.

"When you leave the pitch you have the impression that you've ran [a lot], but that you haven't played a game of football", said Hazard as City recorded a Premier League record 902 passes and Chelsea failed to muster a single shot on goal.

"They can hurt you a lot on the counter-attack so Barcelona will have to put in a serious performance and try to score a goal because if they don't Chelsea could hurt them on the counter".

"There may be times that we suffer, but we have to stay compact and when you have the ball you must have the belief in your head and heart that you can score".

And former Spain midfielder Mendieta believes Antonio Conte's men will have a tough task in keeping Messi quiet in Barcelona.

The Spanish side come into the match holding a slight advantage following a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

"If we concede easy goals and miss the chances, then it is very hard against this team".

"But Barcelona starve you of the ball so you have to keep concentrating for 90 minutes". Likewise, Giroud has made just three starts and scored one goal since crossing London to join from Arsenal. Still, it should be an entertaining battle, as Barca hasn't missed the Champions League quarters since 2007, and Chelsea are looking to get back there for the first time in four years.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, Messi's old rival and fellow five-time Ballon d'Or victor, is inevitably that player and he sits well clear of the Barcelona man on 117 goals in the Champions League.

"[Neymar] has not told me he wants to return", he said.

14 - The 2011-12 season was Messi's most prolific in the Champions League, hitting 14 goals in the competition to top the scoring charts, although Barcelona were beaten by Chelsea in the semi-finals that campaign. He got in behind the Barcelona defence and went down claiming a foul from Gerard Pique in the penalty area, but referee Damir Skomina was having none of it.

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