Barcelona – Chelsea
It’s time for a second round between Barcelona and Chelsea – two rivals which know themselves pretty well in the Champions League. After a 1-1 draw in the first game at the Stamford Bridge, now only one of these two sides will continue to the 1/4-finals of the Champions League.
The first game in London had a lot of tactics involved. It wasn’t really much of an attractive game in the English capital, but the viewers still saw two goals being scored – Willian for Chelsea and Lionel Messi for Barcelona.
Now Barca have a slight advantage after the result in the first leg. It remains to be seen how Chelsea’s manager Antonio Conte is going to approach the game. Will his side attack more, looking to an away goal, too? Or maybe they will sit back and wait for their chance on counter-attack?
Conte knows that it’s difficult to attack on the Camp Nou and leave empty spaces for the Catalans. That’s why most of the teams are defending tightly at this stadium, relying on counter-attacks. But in same time at Chelsea they know that they will leave the competition if they don’t score at least one goal in Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s net.
The big question in Barca is related to the captain Andres Iniesta – is he going to play? The experienced midfielder had an injury in his thigh, but lately he has been training with the squad. It won’t be surprising to see him starting the game, but another option for Ernesto Valverde is to use him as a substitute.
Barcelona have the advantage after the result in the first leg – this is clear. But don’t write off Chelsea – they are the current champions of England and they deserve respect. But one thing is for sure – it’s going to be very hard for them.