5 reasons why Chelsea will beat Barcelona
When the Champions League round of 16 draw was announced, it threw up one of the most dramatic matchups in the competition's history - Chelsea vs Barcelona. The Premier League champions are set to face the La Liga leaders in a two-legged tie to decide who moves on to the quarterfinals.
Chelsea has struggled for consistency this season and do not look as solid at the back as last season. Meanwhile, the Blaugrana changed managers in the summer to bring in Ernesto Valverde and are having one of their best seasons in recent history. The duo of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are in irresistible form leading up to the matchup.
However, there is nothing set in stone in the sport before the ball has been kicked. Hence, here are 5 strong reasons why Chelsea are more than capable of and will beat Barcelona.
#5 Biggest trophy left
After Chelsea finished a surprising 10th in the 2015-16 Premier League season on the back of a title win in the season prior to that, the London club bounced back by capturing the league once again in the 2016-17 season. Thus, the league champions entered this season's Champions League with great expectations.
However, the Blues are having a topsy-turvy season as they trail league leaders Manchester City by 19 points after 27 games. They exited the Carabao Cup in the semifinals against Arsenal and are set for a tough away match against Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinals. Thus, the Champions League remains the biggest trophy left for Chelsea, a trophy they last won in 2012.
Meanwhile, Barcelona is cruising in the La Liga with a seven-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid and are already in the finals of the Copa del Rey. While Europe's top club competition is definitely a must-win for the Blaugrana, they do not have the same reason as Chelsea to put all eggs in one basket.
Thus, it could come to which side wants it more in the end and the English side could very well cruise ahead of their in-form rivals.