Another big night of Champions League football awaits Europe with Chelsea heading to Barcelona for a round of 16 clash. The previous fixtures between the two sides have produced drama in plenty with Chelsea holding a stubborn lead over the Catalans in the head-to-head fixtures.
Barcelona icon, Lionel Messi has broken all kinds of goal-scoring records but the little genius but has failed to deliver against Chelsea on most occasions having scored just the once in his previous 9 fixtures against the Blues. Chelsea have their own season to save and will want to produce another gritty rear-guard display to see out Barcelona when the two sides face off at Camp Nou.
Here is the team news, predicted line-ups, key men and betting odds for the high-voltage clash.
The Catalan giants will have to line up without new boy Philippe Coutinho who is ineligible for the clash. They will be buoyed by the return of Ousmane Dembele. The French star was ruled out in January but is in contention to feature against Chelsea.
Barcelona have no suspension issues to worry about either.
Gary Cahill, who has been forced to sit out for the last few clashes will continue his time on the sideline while Tiemoue Bakayoko will be available to play having recovered from his injury. The Frenchman has come under intense scrutiny because of his below-par performances in a Chelsea shirt and his return to the team will have the Chelsea fans worried again.
Chelsea have no suspension issues to worry about.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Aleix Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Paulinho, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi.
Thibaut Courtois, Victor Moses, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata, Willian.
The Barcelona team is playing on a good level but the standout performance can once again be expected from Lionel Messi. The Argentine genius has been on a supernatural level yet again this season and will want to see off Chelsea.
N’Golo Kante will have to play the game of his life to stop the free-flowing Barcelona midfield. In attack, as has been the norm this season, the onus will be on the Belgian captain Eden Hazard to create chances for Chelsea.
Bet365 has placed Chelsea at 7/1 for a win with Barcelona placed at 4/9. The odds for a draw has been placed at 15/4 as well.
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