Chelsea vs Barcelona
UEFA Champions League
Date: Tuesday, 20th February 2018
Kick-off at 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London).
Both Chelsea and Barcelona have scores to settle when they renew their rivalry at the round of 16 of Champions League on Tuesday night.
There has been 12 meetings between the sides, all of which happened since the 2000 edition. And out of those, 10 fixtures are in the knockout phase, this can be alternately termed as 5 double legged ties. Barcelona lead the h2h in knockout ties on 3-2.
The Blues are going through a turbulent season and are already out of the Premier League title race. One of the main reasons for this is their inconsistent form, both home and away. The team is currently on a two match winning streak, which came against teams on the low end of the domestic table. However, they did lose two on the bounce prior to that against similar sides.
Coming back to Champions League, the numbers are not looking good for Conte’s men. They finished second in the group behind Roma and ahead of Atletico Madrid. But the team managed only 3 wins in the process, the lowest point being back-to-back home draws against Roma and Madrid. The takeaway is their lackluster performances against strong European sides.
Barca are back to their glory days after being largely disappointing in the 2016/17 season. The team managed by Ernesto Valverde is on due course to reclaim the LaLiga title from arch rivals Real Madrid and remain as strong favourites to win the Champions League.
Lionel Messi has been the top contributor to Barca’s success this season, having scored 27 goals from 37 appearances in all competitions. Luis Suarez hasn’t been in the best of form this term, still the Uruguayan notched up 20 goals from 34 appearances for the club. However, he is yet to score a goal in Champions League this season.
Form-wise, Barcelona are in best shape having lost just 1 competitive game so far this season.
Chelsea vs Barcelona: Head-to-head
Overall 12 meetings between the sides, all of those came in the Champions League between calendar year 2000 and 2012. Chelsea are slight ahead with 4 wins, 5 draws and 3 losses.
In the knockout out stages of the competition, Chelsea eliminated Barcelona on three occasions, while they were on the receiving end two times.
At Stamford Bridge, the Blues can boast of a strong record having won 4 of the 6 duels along with a draw and a loss.
Chelsea vs Barcelona: Prediction
On another day, this match-up could be termed as a battle of equals. But Chelsea are way below their usual best which makes Barcelona clear favorites to advance to the quarter finals.
Conte knows well that his boys are underdogs here and therefore expect a more defensive strategy from him. This might result in low turnaround of goals, while the visitors have the better chance to nick a draw or a thin win to take the penultimate tie to their backyard.
Correct Score Prediction: Barcelona to win 1-0 for 9.00 odds.
Chelsea vs Barcelona Bet Tips
Under 2.5 goals has to be a banker bet for 2.05 odds.
A decent alternate is Barcelona Asian Handicap 0 for 1.52 odd.