Barcelona - Chelsea Preview: Di Matteo's men look to hand the hosts their third defeat in a row
The Blues hope to claim a place in the Champions League final with a positive result at Camp Nou, while the home side are looking to overcome a one-goal defeat suffered in London
By Matthew Harold
Alves, Puyol, Pique, Adriano
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Sanchez, Messi, Pedro
Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Lampard, Mata
Barcelona could welcome back defender Gerard Pique after suffering back-to-back defeats in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, then against arch rivals Real Madrid during El Clasico on Saturday which looks to have cost the Catalans the La Liga title.
Both Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano are currently walking a suspension tightrope, as another booking for either could see them miss out on the final in Munich, should the Spanish side overcome the one-goal deficit.
Pep Guardiola will have a full strength side to call upon, with only long-term absentees David Villa, Eric Abidal and Andreu Fontas remaining on the sidelines.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo should revert back to the side that performed so well during the first leg, after resting many of them for the weekend's goalless draw against Arsenal.
The only doubt for the Blues is goalscorer Didier Drogba, who has been suffering from a knee injury and was left out of the Arsenal game, while defender David Luiz will definitely miss out having been stretchered off during the FA Cup semi-final triumph over Tottenham.
Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole and Ramires are all one booking away from missing a potential Champions League final place in Munich next month.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Defeat for Barcelona would see them lose their third game in a row for the first time since early 2003, when they suffered at the hands of Valencia, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid.
- Should Pep Guardiola’s side fail to qualify for the Champions League final, their only real chance for a major trophy at the end of this season would be in the Copa del Rey, when they face Athletic Bilbao.
- Barcelona frontman Lionel Messi (pictured right) is currently sitting on an incredible 63 goals so far this season, although he has failed to find the net in his last two fixtures.
- The Camp Nou side have yet to be defeated in their seven meetings in Spain, although the last three have finished as draws.
- Chelsea have only suffered defeat in one of their last 14 fixtures, with that loss coming at the hands of Manchester City.
- The Stamford Bridge side are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to Champions League qualification through the Premier League, sitting in sixth place, four points behind Newcastle.
- The old guard remain the goalscoring key for Chelsea, as Frank Lampard currently leads the way with 16 goals this season, while Didier Drogba has 11. The Ivorian is 10/1 to score the first goal with Sportingbet.
- Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo will be hoping to exorcise the memories of the last time he visited Camp Nou as a Chelsea player, when his side suffered a 5-1 defeat as they crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 1-1 Chelsea FC
- 17.24 %
FC Barcelona 2-1 Chelsea FC
- 14.36 %
FC Barcelona 3-1 Chelsea FC
- 10.22 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 25, 2012||FC Barcelona 2 - Chelsea FC 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 19, 2012||Chelsea FC 1 - FC Barcelona 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||May 7, 2009||Chelsea FC 1 - FC Barcelona 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 29, 2009||FC Barcelona 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|Dec 12, 2013||FC Barcelona 6 - Celtic 1||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||F.C. Cartagena 1 - FC Barcelona 4||ESPC|
|Dec 2, 2013||Athletic de Bilbao 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|Nov 27, 2013||Ajax 2 - FC Barcelona 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Granada 0||LIGA|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
Times In MYT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed