On Tuesday night, Chelsea host Catalan giants Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League last 16 first leg tie.
Chelsea heads into this clash on the back of high scoring home victories over West Brom and Hull City in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively. The victories were much needed after consecutive defeats in the league against Bournemouth and Watford.
Antonio Conte’s side enjoyed a mixed group campaign in this competition. However, the Blues did beat Spanish opposition in Atletico Madrid in the group stages and also suffered just one defeat.
Chelsea have a decent recent home record in the Champions League, as the south London side have lost just one of their last 11 home games in Europe’s elite competition. The Blues have also been prolific at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League, scoring at least two goals in eight of their last ten European home games.
Barcelona heads to the English capital in good form. The Catalan giants are currently top of their domestic table and look set to seal another Spanish top-flight title.
Ernesto Valverde’s team also qualified from their Champions League group unbeaten. A big contributing factor to Barcelona’s unbeaten run was the fact that the Catalan side conceded just once in their six group games. In fact, they have kept clean sheets in six of their last seven European games.
Surprisingly, the visitors have a poor away record in the Champions League. They have drawn their last two games on their travels in Europe’s elite competition, but have won just one of their last five away games in the Champions League.
One other negative heading into this clash is that star forward Lionel Messi has failed to score against Chelsea in eight meetings with the Blues. The 30-year-old will be looking to put that record to bed in this clash.
Barcelona are favourites to go through to the quarter finals, but Forebet predicts that this game will end in an entertaining high scoring draw.