Chelsea take on Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge and Antonio Conte will be hoping to pick up all three points at home before they head to Spain for the second leg.
The noose is tightening around the Italian’s neck and despite a fine performance against Hull City in the FA Cup, the match against Barcelona is sure to be an acid test for Conte. The Blues boss will be hoping to restrict Barcelona on his home turf so that he has something to take to Camp Nou a fortnight later.
We take a look Chelsea’s predicted line up vs Barcelona for Tuesday night:
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS:
A big positive for Antonio Conte will be the fact that Marcos Alonso is available for selection and he will straightaway take his position as the left-wing back. David Luiz is out with a knock meaning that the manager’s three men back line will consist of Rudiger, Cahill and Azpilicueta. Victor Moses who was on the bench for the Hull City game is expected to return to his right wing-back role on Tuesday night.
Conte has confirmed that Tiemoue Bakayoko is sidelined with an injury and will not take part against Barcelona – meaning that the manager will have to play the duo of Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante at the heart of midfield.
Another big dilemma would be the selection of his attacking men. Antonio Conte has hinted that he would like to play both Morata and Giroud together upfront but we feel that Willian has secured himself a place in the starting XI set to play against Barcelona after he bagged two goals against Hull City.
CHELSEA’S PREDICTED LINE UP VS BARCELONA:
Defence: Rudiger, Cahill, Azpilicueta.
Midfield: Alonso, Kante, Fabregas, Moses.
Attack: Hazard, Morata, Willian.