Reigning English Premier League champions Chelsea FC will host Spanish La Liga powerhouse FC Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the highly anticipated first leg of their Round of 16 match in the 2017-2018 UEFA Champions League tournament.
Start Time And Streaming Info
The game starts at 8:45 p.m. UTC+1. It can be viewed live online via FuboTV.
The Blues have struggled in their last few games, losing two of their last three English top-flight fixtures. However, the team defeated West Brom, 3-0, in their last Premier League match on February 12 before pulling off a 4-0 win over Hull City in the FA Cup last Friday to gain some momentum heading into this match against Barca.
Eden Hazard scored a double with Victor Moses adding a single against the Baggies while Willian netted a brace with Pedro and newly-acquired striker Olivier Giroud contributing one goal apiece versus Hull City. Overall, Chelsea has won three and lost three of their last six matches in all competitions.
Head coach Antonio Conte’s side scored 12 goals in those six games while conceding nine despite pulling off three clean sheets, which indicates some problems on the defensive end.
Spanish defender Marcos Alonso is expected to return from injury while English midfielder Ross Barkley is still out with a hamstring problem.
Barca lost their last meeting with the Blues, 2-2 (3-2 on aggregate), in April 2012 during a Champions League semifinal showdown that year.
Some of Barcelona’s current players were there, namely Lionel Messi, team captain Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Gerald Pique. Former Blaugrana standouts Cesc Fabregas and Pedro are now both with Chelsea as the two squads meet again for the first time since then.
Barca looks invincible as always as the squad currently leads the Spanish top flight table. They are undefeated in their last eight matches in all competitions, winning six of them.
Head coach Ernesto Valverde’s squad is coming off a 2-0 victory over Eibar on the road in La Liga with Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba providing the goals for Barca.
Barcelona finished on top of Group D competitions this year, the 11th straight time they did so, resulting in a Champions League all-time record. The team has only conceded one goal so far in the tournament.
Newly-signed winger Philippe Coutinho will not be allowed to play for Barcelona as the Brazilian had already suited up for Liverpool earlier in the tournament.
Here is the potential starting XI for both sides via the Daily Post:
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3 formation): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Zappacosta; Pedro, Hazard, Willian.
Barcelona starting lineup (4-4-2 formation): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez.
Here are the odds, per Metro:
Chelsea – 5/2
Barcelona – 11/10
Draw – 12/5