Chelsea vs Barcelona
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 20 December 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Chelsea’s manager, Antonio Conte, said that Barcelona are “beatable”, adding though that to beat them his team will need to play an almost perfect game. Perfect (without “almost” in front) was their first half against Hull City on Saturday, in their FA Cup match. When the two teams went to the dressing rooms at halftime, the Blues were 4-0 up, having secured their qualification. They slowed down in the second half, more like… pulled the brake, and the score didn’t change. A few days earlier they had beaten West Brom as well at home, 3-0, in the Premier League, bouncing back from… hard to believe back-to-back defeats/humiliations by Bournemouth (0-3, at home!), and Watford (4-1!). Another bonus for Chelsea last weekend was that some regulars got to rest, so as to look as “fresh” as possible against Barcelona.
Brilliant Lionel Messi pass, spotless Luis Suarez finish, and just like that, Barcelona took the lead at Eibar on Saturday. They didn’t put the game to bed until the 88th minute, when Jordi Alba made it 0-2, but the hosts had been playing with 10 men since the 66th minute, so the game was always under the Blaugrana’s control. The Catalan giants had dropped four points in their previous two LaLiga matches, Atletico Madrid had closed the gap on them to seven points (still big, but not… huge), so they needed to bonce back, and they did, earning a… professional win at a very tough to play at venue. Incredible Barcelona have lost just one of their last 38 matches, and that was a Copa del Rey first leg, which didn’t really hurt them, as they still qualified over Espanyol beating them in the return leg. Ernesto Valverde’s team lost twice to Real Madrid in the Super Cup games at the start of the season, in August, lost big actually, both at home and away, by a total score of 1-5, but ever since then they have been anything from great to spectacular, excluding just a few “average” performances that either way didn’t cost them much.
Previous five matches:
Chelsea vs Hull City 4-0
Chelsea vs West Brom 3-0
Watford vs Chelsea 4-1
Chelsea vs Bournemouth 0-3
Chelsea vs Newcastle 3-0
Eibar vs Barcelona 0-2
Barcelona vs Getafe 0-0
Espanyol vs Barcelona 1-1
Barcelona vs Valencia 1-0
Barcelona vs Alaves 2-1
Chelsea’s next game is at Manchester United, on Sunday (England Premier League). Barcelona are hosting Girona on Saturday (Spain LaLiga).
Chelsea vs Barcelona: Head to head Stats
Chelsea have hosted Barcelona seven times in the past, winning five games, drawing once, and losing once. Total goals, 13-6 for the Blues. The most recent game in London was in 2012, a Champions League semifinal that Chelsea won 1-0.
Chelsea vs Barcelona: Prediction
Barcelona are considered favourites to win. They don’t really need to, it’s not an absolute must for them, deep down a draw with goals would be ok, would still have them favourites to qualify, but deep down I do expect them to win, not just because they have been awesome this season, but also because I don’t trust this Chelsea to do well enough to avoid defeat.
Chelsea vs Barcelona: Betting Tips
Barcelona’s win is at 2.05 betting odds. I consider it good enough to avoid risking further with special bets.
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