Potential Chelsea Lineup Against Barcelona | UEFA Champions League

With an unfavourable 1-1 scoreline, Antonio Conte’s men face Barcelona at Camp Nou in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash.

Lionel Messi’s 75th minute equalizer not only cancelled out Willian’s goal at Stamford Bridge, but it also gave Barcelona the all important away goal advantage. The Blues will need to win by a minimum scoreline of 1-0, no mean feat when one takes into account the opposition and the venue.

As per Chelsea’s official site, Antonio Conte will be able to welcome back Antonio Rudiger to the squad after the German international sat out their 2-1 win against Crystal Palace last week. Tiemoue Bakayoko is also likely to be available, having come on as a late substitute against the Eagles.

Conte is expected to start with the same personnel as that of the first tie and the formation used will likely be the 3-4-3. The focus will be on exploiting Barcelona on the counter, which is where the combined pace of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian will come at an advantage.

Barcelona vs Chelsea(4)

Thibaut Courtois will take his place in goal, while Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta will likely be joined by Antonio Rudiger in the back-three. Victor Moses is expected to replace Davide Zappacosta on the right flank, with Marcos Alonso setting up shop on the left.

N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas are expected to start in central midfield, with Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro starting in a front three. In his pre-match press conference, the Italian stated how his side had to be prepared to ‘suffer’ without the ball against their hosts.

“Without the ball, you suffer. You have to defend well. When you have the ball, I repeat, we must know very well which is the way to go, to try to score and create chances, in the same way we did at Stamford Bridge.”

So it is clear that the focus will be on defending, with using the combined pace and flair of their front three to exploit Barcelona on the counter. Chelsea would have undoubtedly taken a lot of promise from their performance in the first leg, which they only lost due to an error by Christensen.

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