Chelsea – Barcelona Preview: Blues out for revenge as Catalans seek third final appearance under Guardiola
The Champions League holders head to Stamford Bridge once again to take on Roberto Di Matteo's men with both sides bidding for a place in the final against Real Madrid or Bayern
By Gill Clark
Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole
Ramires, Mata, Kalou
Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Puyol
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Sanchez, Messi, Pedro
Chelsea have problems in defence with David Luiz likely to miss out after being stretchered off at Wembley against Tottenham on Sunday and Gary Cahill also struggling with a foot problem. John Terry will continue to play, despite a rib injury, and Branislav Ivanovic should replace Jose Bosingwa at right-back, having been suspended for the FA Cup semi-final.
Elsewhere, manager Roberto Di Matteo must decide whether to keep faith with the players who served him so well in the 5-1 thrashing of Spurs or freshen up his team. Dider Drogba and Frank Lampard were both scorers on Sunday, so may have done enough to retain their places, although Fernando Torres, who started both games against Benfica, will be hoping for a recall to the starting XI.
Barcelona have no fresh injury worries and indeed have players returning from injury with Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Seydou Keita and Ibrahim Afellay all back in the squad. Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol are both set to start in defence, with both players only one yellow card away from a suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea last met Barcelona in May 2009, again in the semi-finals of the Champions League. After a goalless first leg the Catalans qualified for the final with a stoppage time Andres Iniesta goal which cancelled out Michael Essien’s opener and saw Barca through on away goals.
- The Blues have a perfect record at home this season in the Champions League. Di Matteo’s men have played five, won five, scoring 16 times and conceding just two in the process.
- This fixture is the Londoners’ sixth Champions League semi-final in nine years. However, they have only ever won one, beating Liverpool 4-3 on aggregate in 2008.
- The Stamford Bridge side have never won the European Cup, although they have been runners-up, in 2008.
Barcelona’s last trip to London was last May at Wembley when they beat Manchester United 3-1 to claim their fourth European Cup.
- Should the reigning champions win the Champions League this season it will be their fourth triumph in seven years and they will be the first club since AC Milan in 1990 to retain the trophy.
- This is the fifth consecutive season that Barcelona have been in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The last team to beat them at this stage was Inter Milan in 2010.
- Lionel Messi (pictured right) has faced Chelsea six times in the Champions League but has never scored against the Blues.
- When the two clubs met in the quarter-finals in 2000, Barcelona beat Chelsea 5-1 in the second leg at Camp Nou. That game saw Roberto Di Matteo start for the Blues, whilst a certain Pep Guardiola featured for the hosts.
Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 1-3 Barcelona
- 14.81 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Barcelona
- 13.67 %
Chelsea FC 2-1 Barcelona
- 11.9 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||25-Apr-2012||Barcelona 2 - Chelsea FC 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||19-Apr-2012||Chelsea FC 1 - Barcelona 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||07-May-2009||Chelsea FC 1 - Barcelona 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||29-Apr-2009||Barcelona 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|12-Dec-2013||Chelsea FC 1 - Steaua 0||UCL|
|07-Dec-2013||Stoke 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|05-Dec-2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
|01-Dec-2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|27-Nov-2013||Basel 1 - Chelsea FC 0||UCL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed