Chelsea moment of reckoning comes on Tuesday as they welcome in-form Barcelona to the Stamford Bridge for leg one of two in the Champions League round of 16. The match is a key moment for manager Antonio Conte who has been having some troubling times in the season after he won the domestic league.
The blues will be in high spirits after demolishing Hull City 4-0 in the FA Cup on Friday, but will be under no illusion about how much of a different side they are coming up against. Conte will be proud that striker Olivier Giroud has gotten off the mark and will be hopeful the Frenchman sharpens a striking force that has struggled in recent weeks.
Barca have defied expectations to keep flying high in Ernesto Valverde’s first season in charge, and will be serious about going the distance in a competition that has been won by rivals Madrid for the past two seasons. They come into this on the back of a Saturday league trip to Eibar. A strong lineup will be at work here, with the pairing of Gerrard Pique and Samuel Umtiti in defence, Ivan Rakitic in midfield and Lionel Messi/Luis Suarez/Philippe Coutinho leading the attack.