FC Barcelona and Chelsea will both feel they have a chance to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals, after the two teams finished deadlocked in a 1-1 draw in the first leg a few weeks ago at Stamford Bridge.
Barcelona hasn`t necessarily been fantastic lately, but the hosts are playing well and stringing together wins. Barca is on the back of a 2-0 win at Malaga over the weekend, they recently beat Atletico Madrid as well, and are virtually La Liga champions this season already – as they sit at the top of the table with an 8 point advantage. They are deserving favorites to beat Chelsea in this clash, even though the first leg was pretty difficult for Barcelona.
Chelsea put on a good performance three weeks ago in London, leading 1-0 until the 75th minute. It was a close game and 1-1 was probably a fair result, but a fair case can be made that Chelsea could have snatched the win. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to do so, and now face an almost impossible task at Camp Nou. The Blues are having a poor season and they are only 5th in the Premier League, where they put on some very disappointing performances recently – even though they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 last time out.Bet on Barcelona vs Chelsea and claim your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Team news & lineups:
Coutinho is Cup tied for Barcelona and is the only definite absentee. Iniesta is slightly doubtful but should start. Semedo, Samper and Denis Suarez are also doubtful. As for Chelsea, there are serious doubts over Luiz, Barkley and Bakayoko, all of them being likely to miss out.
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen – Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba – Rakitic, Busquets, Paulinho – Suarez, Messi, Iniesta
Chelsea: Courtois – Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger – Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso – Willian, Hazard – Morata
The overwhelming feeling is that Chelsea missed its chance when Messi equalized in the first leg. It was one of the best games of the season for Chelsea, but they could not complete the job, and playing in Camp Nou will be a different scenario.
Chelsea looked really poor in the last two matches they played away from home, particularly in a 0-1 defeat at Manchester City 10 days ago – when Chelsea parked the bus with little to no shame, and continued to play the same way despite being down and losing the game.
Barcelona at home is a truly scary opponent, and a quick statistical analysis will reveal that they haven`t lost in their last 21 home games in all competitions, winning 18 of them – and 14 of those wins were by 2 or more goals.
Barca should be able to take control of this game right from the start, get in front sooner or later, and potentially run away with it once Chelsea starts to open up a bit. This is not a good or in form Chelsea side, and it`s unlikely any team which is not solid and in good form can resist at Camp Nou.
My tip is Barcelona to cover the -1 asian handicap. At the moment odds on this bet are dropping. Prediction: FC Barcelona – Chelsea 3-0.
Pick: Barcelona (-1 Asian Handicap)
Odds: 1.69 @ Sbobet
Possible profit: 5.52
Event date: 14 March