Barcelona v Chelsea Preview : Score or Be Eliminated
Event Venue: Camp Nou , Wednesday 14 March 7.45pm. Live on BT Sport 2.See Stats
Chelsea face a massive task as they bid to reach the last eight of the Champions League. Our preview looks ahead to their second leg as they go to Barcelona having been held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
Home Form the Key for Barcelona
The past few seasons have seen Barcelona having to watch Real Madrid win trophy after trophy, now they are in the position where it's their turn to dominate. Barcelona lead the Spanish league by eight points and that should be enough to see them finish top allowing them to concentrate on winning this competition.
The statistics for this side are enough to frighten any team wanting to get past them this season. No defeats in La Liga or the Champions League this season and earning that 1-1 draw in the first leg makes them hot favourites to reach the quarter finals. Their home form is sensational and it's not all about scoring goals galore. Their defence is rock solid and that's not always been the case in the past few seasons. They have kept four straight clean sheets at home and have only conceded two goals at home since December 5th.
With Chelsea having to score at some point, that is likely to bring about some gaps at the back and face it, Chelsea have already made one massive defensive mistake in this tie. Barcelona are rightfully the favourites to progress into the last eight even if Iniesta isn't fit to play.
You can get odds of 3/1 on Luis Suarez scoring the first goal with 888Sport (18+ Ts & Cs Apply)
Inconsistent Chelsea Face Massive Task
A side that loses to Bournemouth and Watford in recent weeks can't really be fancied to go to Barcelona and come back qualified for the last eight of Europe's top club competition. A defensive blunder helped the Spanish side get a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge and that away goal could prove very costly this week.
That crucial away goal means Chelsea have to score a goal in this game to have any chance of reaching the quarter finals. Their away form of late is anything but inspiring and it's just difficult to believe that they can get anything out of this game. Earlier this season they lost 3-0 away to Roma in the group stages and a performance like that is always likely with this inconsistent Chelsea side.
Only twice in their last seven away games have Chelsea travelled away and come back with a clean sheet having been kept. It's going to take a massive amount of effort to keep Barcelona at bay and the writer of this preview just can't see them making it into the last eight and they face the rest of the season trying to avoid some Thursday night football next season.
Current odds for Chelsea to beat Barcelona are 7/1 with Unibet (18+ Ts & Cs Apply)
Chelsea have it all to do in this second leg. Barcelona aren't all about Messi and Suarez, they have a solid defence too. The English side have to score in this game and the longer they go without finding the net, the more adventurous they will have to become. This preview believes the home side will be far too strong for an inconsistent Chelsea side and can get the home win.
Get odds of 4/9 on Barcelona beating Chelsea with William Hill (18+ Ts & Cs Apply)
- Barcelona are unbeaten in La Liga and the Champions League this season.
- Clean sheets have been kept in nine of the last 11 Barcelona home games.
- Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 24 home Champions League matches.
- Only two goals have been conceded by Barcelona in their last nine home Champions League games
- No side has scored away at Barcelona in the Champions League in the last 24 games.
- Chelsea have lost their last four away league and cup games.
- Chelsea have only won one of their last eight away games in all competitions.
- Chelsea have lost two of their last four away Champions League ties.
Today's Main Tip
Manchester City to win the Champions League at 7/2 with Unibet.
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