Barcelona v Chelsea, Tuesday 19:45
After conceding defeat in the race for the Primera Division title, Pep Guardiola will be eyeing Tuesday’s fixture against Chelsea in his bid to retain the Champions League title as Paddy Power provide free bets and offer huge betting odds on the English visitors recording a momentous victory.
The Blues managed to nullify the Barcelona offence at Stamford Bridge last week, doing what many of Europe’s biggest clubs have failed to do in recent years.
However, replicating that feat at the Camp Nou will prove a different task altogether as Chelsea travel to the strongest home defence in all of Spanish football.
The Catalan giants have conceded an incredibly low average of just 0.59 goals per game when playing with home advantage this campaign, keeping a clean sheet in 65% of their matches.
Barça go into the encounter with a 1-0 deficit and won’t have the highest of morale following on from their weekend loss against Real Madrid.
Speaking after his side’s defeat to Real, Guardiola noted: “We have to congratulate Madrid for their win and the title that they have also won tonight. We created chances but it was not our night, sometimes that happens against such a good opponent as Madrid.”
The manager added: “We’re not going to retain the league title, and now we have to focus on the Champions League. We have to find the way to attack Chelsea, and we have to try and forget today’s game.”
Although Chelsea find themselves in a disappointing sixth place, one terrific aspect of their season has been their ability to defend away from home, conceding an average of just a goal per game on average this season.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men earned a 0-0 stalemate at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday and after going unbeaten in their last nine outings, will be looking to mimic Real Madrid’s performance in Catalonia and finish off the current Champions League title holders.
Two names looking unlikely to feature for the visitors is David Luiz and Didier Drogba, scorer of the sole goal in the first-leg.
The pair are suffering with hamstring and knee injuries, respectively, and Di Matteo has conceded that both are major doubts for the Nou Camp fixture.
Barcelona have a practically clean bill of health with no new injury concerns, making for bad news as far as Chelsea will see.
However, although Lionel Messi is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, the pin-sized poacher has failed to score in seven attempts against Chelsea and the hosts will be praying that the attacker doesn’t reach eight on Tueesday.