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UEFA Champions League

  • April 24, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: C. Çakιr
  • • Attendance: 95845
2
FT
2

Chelsea win Aggregate 3 - 2

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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

BARCELONA

Valdes
Alves, Puyol, Pique, Adriano
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Sanchez, Messi, Pedro
CHELSEA

Cech
Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole
Mikel, Meireles
Ramires, Lampard, Mata
Drogba

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.
  • 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.

Players to watch

Xavi

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The maestro of the Barcelona midfield, going up against a defensively minded Chelsea side will mean that the 32-year-old will have to be more creative in how he attempts to find teammates during the second leg.

He was the kingpin of the midfield during the first leg, being the focal point of the 754 passes that Barcelona completed during the fixture, so he’ll be hoping that his passing can help create the breakthrough in the tie.

J. Terry

Position: Defender

Games: 0

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The Chelsea skipper will have to be at his best in order to stop Lionel Messi & co to secure a place in the Champions League final place and a chance to exorcise the demons from the 2008 final when he missed during the penalty shootout against Manchester United.

He has shown his determination throughout recent weeks, playing through the pain of broken ribs to help his side as they search for their first ever Champions League trophy.

Editor's Prediction

After suffering defeat in two of their most important games so far this season, Pep Guardiola’s side will be under no illusions that a second leg victory is a must for the Catalans if they are to consider this season a success.

But the chance of a Champions League final will see Chelsea line-up in the same defensive manner as in the first leg and that will mean that Barcelona will be forced to break down the wall created by the Stamford Bridge side.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Barcelona

Chelsea

Wins
0
3
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
Draw
Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
54%
25%
21%

Top 3 Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
1 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE
FC Barcelona FCB
2 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE
FC Barcelona FCB
3 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE

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