Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is going to find himself “on trial against Barcelona”, says Ruud Gullit, with the Italian under pressure to get his tactics right in a crucial Champions League clash.
The Blues head to Camp Nou on Wednesday for the second leg of a heavyweight last-16 encounter.
A 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge has the odds piled in Barca’s favour, with Chelsea aware that they will need to score at least once in order to reach the quarter-finals.
That is by no means beyond them, but a former manager at Stamford Bridge admits that Conte will have a key role to play as he endeavours to formulate a match-winning game plan.
“He’s on trial against Barcelona,” the legendary Dutchman told Sky Sports.
“He’s going to show us if he has the right tactics, if he has the right changes.
“Look at Tottenham, look at what Juventus did – one change, two changes and the whole game changes.
“That’s what you expect from a coach and you need to do that. That’s fantastic to see. And if you don’t see that at the right moment, then you get criticised.”
Chelsea impressed on home soil against Barca, with Willian firing them in front on the night.
The Blues were, however, unable to contain Lionel Messi for 90 minutes and the Argentine levelled matters with a priceless away goal.
Conte must now encourage his side to produce a similar display in Catalunya, with the need to keep things tight having to be countered by a desire to attack.
Chelsea have never previously won at Camp Nou, in eight attempts, but they are unbeaten in their last four visits – finding the target at least once in three of those fixtures.