Ali Raza Jalbani (February 21, 2018): Champion League’s another important knockout matches between La Liga’s Barcelona and Premiere League’s Chelsea will be played today (12: 45 AM PMT) at Chelsea’s home ground Stamford Bridge.
Messi’s Barcelona are in very good form as they are unbeaten in La Liga, wherein they have won 19 matches out of 24 and 5 matches gone draw.Chelsea has good record against Barcelona and they will definitely be looking for improving it in the upcoming first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Hazard’s Chelsea are unbeaten in their last seven Champions League games against Barcelona. They also beat them in the semi-finals in 2012 on their way to winning the trophy.
Antonio Conte’s side have won just four of their previous 12 matches in all competitions, while La Liga leaders Barca have only lost once all season.
Recently shifted from Real Madrid Alvaro Morata and former Arsenal’s key attacking star Oliver Giroud along with fast and technically strong Hazard could be tough to handle for Barcelona’s defense.
Barcelona have won only one of their six away games against Chelsea in the Champions League (D1 L4), it was in February 2006 (2-1). Chelsea will attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2013-14.Spanish club is currently going with 4-4-2 lately, with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in the attack. Inform Brazilian Paulinho, young Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic along with attacking mid-fielder Philippe Coutinho could be in the midfield.
Chelsea and Barcelona are facing each other for the 13th time in the Champions League. They hadn’t played each other since April 2012.
Chelsea’s startup could be: Courtois; Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard.
Whereas Barcelona can start start with: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Paulinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Suarez, Messi.
Pakistani fans will be enjoying magician Messi and Hazard’s performance by 12:45 AM (PMT).