With an away goal advantage to their name, Barcelona host Chelsea at the Nou Camp in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie.
Barcelona are currently at the top of the La Liga table with 72 points to their name, 18 points ahead of second placed Atletico Madrid. They have lost only 1 game the entire season and have failed to get on the score-sheet on only four occasions this entire season.
Chelsea are currently fifth in the Premier League, 5 points away from fourth place and twenty five points behind league leaders Manchester City. They’ve lost 10 games this entire season and since the last time they faced Barcelona, they’ve lost two out of their three games. beer777
In the first leg, the Blues took the lead in the 62nd minute. Barcelona were dominating possession as expected but it was Chelsea who had gotten closest to opening the scoring until then. However, a defensive error from Andreas Christensen allowed Lionel Messi to score the all important away goal, which titled the tie in their favour.
Ahead of the second leg, we take a closer look at the two sides.The Catalan giants welcomed back Andres Iniesta to first team training today, something that will undoubtedly come as a huge boost for for Ernesto Valverde and his men. Ousmane Dembele has also returned from injury and could feature in his first Champions League game since September.Tactics & Team NewsBarcelona
Denis Suarez, Nelson Semedo and Sergi Samper are doubtful as well and Phillippe Coutinho is ineligible to feature in the Champions League. Valverde is expected to revert to the 4-4-2 formation after using a 4-3-3 in last week’s win against Malaga.
Ter Stegen will start in goal, with Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba making up the defence. Paulinho is expected to start on the right flank, with Iniesta returning on the left. beer777
Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets are expected to start in the center of midfield.
Lionel Messi will come back into the starting XI and likely set up shop alongside Luis Suarez upfront. There also lies the possibility of starting Ousmane Dembele on the left or right wing, making it a front three. This would allow them to take Chelsea’s back three man for man.
That would however, require sacrificing a central midfielder. Andres Iniesta would be the most likely candidate to be dropped, given that he is only just returning from injury. However, he is indispensable to Barcelona and in such a big game at the Nou Camp, he is almost certain to start.Chelsea
Antonio Conte is expected to be without the services of David Luiz and Ross Barkley. Tiemoue Bakayoko has returned from injury and came on during Chelsea’s 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace and might even feature at the Nou Camp. beer777
Antonio Conte is expected to deploy the same 3-4-3 formation, with only maybe 1 major change to the side that started against them at Stamford Bridge. Thibaut Courtois will take his place in goal, with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta making up the back three.
Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses are likely to start at wing-back, with N’golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas in central midfield. Eden Hazard and Willian are expected to start in attacking midfield, with Olivier Giroud leading the line for the Blues. try something different with the Frenchman, who showed great promise in the last game and would also give them an added boost in set pieces.