Tuesday, 20 February 2018

UCL: Chelsea vs Barcelona Match Preview, Possible Lineups And Prediction

Chelsea's miserable form this season has seen the Blues drop well off the pace in the English Premier League, having struggled to balance their European and domestic commitments - they were not in Europe last season when they claimed the title.
Chelsea vs Barcelona
UEFA Champions League
Date: Tuesday, 20th February 2018
Kick-off at 20:45 - Nigerian Time
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London).
Antonio Conte's side have come back into form with seven goals in two games, but they have come against the bottom-placed team in the English Premier League and a lower-league side in the FA Cup.

Barcelona, by contrast, are unbeaten in eight games and, after two consecutive league draws, got back to winning ways against Eibar at the weekend.

Star man Lionel Messi has not scored in any of their five matches so far in February, and has a poor record against Chelsea too - but the Argentine striker should never be backed against.

He has not scored in four appearances at Stamford Bridge, but goals against Manchester City and Arsenal in recent seasons have improved his record at Premier League grounds to four goals in his last four games.


Chelsea - Marcos Alonso is expected to return after missing the last two matches, but David Luiz, Tiemoue Bakayoko are injury doubts. Ross Barkley is definitely out, meanwhile, as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. The ex-Everton man joined Olivier Giroud and Emerson Palmieiri in being added to the UEFA Champions League squad after the January transfer window.

Barcelona - Thomas Vermaelen is an injury concern, but Barca had Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti back at the heart of their defence against Eibar and the two are likely to continue tonight. Philippe Coutinho dropped to the bench for that game, and is ineligible for Tuesday's game, but Ousmane Dembele is fit again to provide further attacking options.


Chelsea have restored a little bit of form since their two shock defeats to Bournemouth and Watford in the English league. After conceding seven goals in those two games, they have responded with two wins and two clean sheets, beating bottom-club West Brom 3-0 before thrashing Championship side Hull City 4-0 in the FA Cup on Friday night.

Barcelona bounced back from two consecutive draws in La Liga by beating Eibar 2-0 at the weekend. Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba scored the goals, as Barcelona got back to winning ways after draws with Espanyol and Getafe. They have beaten Valencia home and away in the Copa del Rey in among their last five fixtures too, however, following up a 1-0 home win with a 2-0 triumph in Valencia.


Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas Alonso; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.

Barca (4-1-3-2): Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Umtiti, Pique, Jordi Alba;  Busquets; Rakitic, Iniesta, Paulinho; Messi, Suarez.

  • Overall 12 meetings between the sides, all of those came in the UEFA Champions League between calendar year 2000 and 2012.
  • Chelsea are slight ahead with 4 wins, 5 draws and 3 losses.
  • In the knockout out stages of the competition, Chelsea eliminated Barcelona on three occasions, while they were on the receiving end two times.
  • At Stamford Bridge, the Blues can boast of a strong record having won 4 of the 6 duels along with a draw and a loss.

Chelsea 1-2 Barca —   The Blues' poor start to 2018 has already ended their hopes of success in two competitions, and while they have been back to winning ways in their last two matches, they are still way below their usual best which makes Barca clear favorites to advance to the quarter finals. But in football, anything can happen.

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