In our Barcelona vs Chelsea preview we will help you figure out who are the hot favourites to win the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Do you think Barcelona can oust Chelsea, or it will be the other way around?
According to online sportsbook news La Liga clubs have dominated the Champions League in recent years, with Spain providing six of the last nine winners. Barca raised the trophy three times in last nine years, while Chelsea captured the title only once in 2012. From a tactical perspective we expect a hard clash with many goals, thus our advice in this Barcelona vs Chelsea preview to place a bet on Valverde’s men to leave London with an adequate advantage into the second leg in March 14.
Barcelona vs Chelsea preview: H2H stats
(Source: Barcelona Live)
The two teams have met each other 12 times since 2000, and the Blues hold the better head-to-head record, winning four, losing three and drawing five. Although it looks like a tough tie awaits Barcelona in the competition, the Stamford Bridge team seem to be less competitive this season with two consecutive losses to Bournemouth and Watford, and a League Cup semifinal ouster at the hands of Arsenal. The Blues are certainly not trending in the right direction these days, as they stagger at the 4th place in Premier League.
On the other hand Barca are doing just fine under Ernesto Valverde’s management, holding an unbeaten record in La Liga for 23 weeks, qualified for Copa del Rey final in next April, and passed through the CL group stage with top spot. Although the Londoners will host the first leg, we suggest weighing for the visitors as they are now the best Spanish team to compete at the European level.
Conte vs Valverde
Online sportsbooks in the UK expect all eyes to be fixed on the pitch where Barca’s attacking force Messi and Suarez will give a show against home side forwards Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. Another important side to be followed through the game is the reaction of Antonio Conte on the stand, as he will try to save his tenure hanging by a thread. He will try to prove that he can turn things around in big games. One basic strategy that we all expect Conte to put forward is keeping Lionel Messi quiet. Can he manage to do so?
On Barca’s side Valverde will have to stick to the traditional midfielders, as Philippe Coutinho is not eligible for European competition. But Valverde will be able to get Ousmane Dembele involved, without a guarantee whether the French youngster can finally make some difference. Thus the most important card in Barcelona is the Argentinean superstar who never scored in his career against Chelsea (yet). Can he break the ice this time?
Where to bet on Barca vs the Blues?
Our recommendation is to check out Pinnacle Sportsbook, where Chelsea’s odds stand at 4.010, while the odds for La Liga leaders are 2.040. Thus with both teams having world class strikers, the game is expected to result with many goals from both sides. At Pinnacle Sportsbook the odds are 1.917 for the match to end with over 2.5 in total goals, while 2.00 for the game to have less than 2.5 goals.