Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 6:19 PM ">Two Left Feet - Out Now! for the thinking football fan
Chelsea have the massive task of attempting to avoid defeat at the Nou Camp tonight, meaning they would progress to the UEFA Champions League Final.
Should they lose by the solitary goal, it would also be enough to send them through on away goals, unless the score is 1-0 to the Catalans, meaning the game would go into extra-time, and possibly penalties.
Pundits and managers alike had written Chelsea off before the first leg, with current Real Madrid, and former Blues boss Jose Mourinho saying there was ‘no chance’ of his side meeting his former club in the final.
The Londoners rode their luck at Stamford Bridge, twice being saved by the woodwork, and some heroic defending, epitomized by the influential John Terry, and the engine of Ramires in midfield.
The Nou Camp has been a daunting place for opposition teams in recent seasons, but Real Madrid beat them there on the weekend, meaning Pep Guardiolas side have lost consecutive games, and their first home defeat in 55 games, which basically handed the title to Madrid.
Former striker for both teams, Eidur Gudjohnson thinks that Chelsea have enough about them to progress, and the stats would point to that being true also, with the Blues avoiding defeat in the last six meeting between the pair, while Lionel Messi has not scored in seven meetings with Chelsea.
As much as last weeks victory was down to a fantastic display from Roberto Di Matteos team, Barcelona were guilty of missing some glorious opportunities, and on their larger pitch, they are likely to get even more time and space to work their magic.
It is likely that Chelsea will have to score a goal, as the Spaniards have scored a remarkable 105 goals in 30 home games this season, winning 27 of them. However, should Chelsea score, then Barcelona will need to score three, which won’t be easy, especially if they play how they did in the El Clasico on the weekend, where they didn’t hit a shot on target until the 70th minute.
Last weeks hero Didier Drogba is expected to be fit, even though he missed the Arsenal game on the weekend with a knee injury, while Barcelona should welcome back Pique, who missed the first leg, and similarly to Drogba, Cesc Fabregas sat out the weekends game, but should be back.
Interim boss Di Matteo has admitted it is likely his side will have to score, which means he will go into the game positively, and not just sit back with what they have. The game will kick-off at 1945GMT, and is available to watch on Sky Sports.
By Brad Smith