Valverde: Chelsea Defend Well, Will Cause Barca Problems

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Valverde: Chelsea Defend Well, Will Cause Barca Problems

The Blues host the La Liga leaders in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday and the game will give Hazard a chance to lock horns with the brilliant Messi, a five-time Ballon d'Or victor.

CHELSEA are priced at 5/2 against a Barcelona side that is undefeated in La Liga and in the Champions League so far this season.

An early elimination in the Champions League last sixteen, adding to a failed Premier League campaign would mean a season lost for Chelsea, and that's why I'm mentioning that the pressure will really be on their side.

"Yes, I think we start this game as underdogs, for sure, because Barcelona - on paper - are favourites to go into the next round".

Neymar's decision to walk out on the club for a world-record €222 million (S$361.1 million) to Paris Saint-Germain was a huge loss that Valverde has used as an opportunity to reconstruct a more solid side that maintain the firepower of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack.

"We hope there's a lot of goals but I don't think so, so a draw."Chelsea are unbeaten in their last seven Champions League games against Barcelona, though have won just two of those meetings".

"Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde admits he is facing "one of the best managers in the world" when his side take on Conte's Chelsea".

"For us, it is a game that makes us very excited, but it is just another game in the Champions League".

Chelsea's midfield: "We know their players, they have a very strong midfield, and it's not going to be an easy game for us at all".

"Obviously, it will be important to acquit ourselves well on home turf in the first leg so that we're in with a good chance going to the Camp Nou, which is a very hard place to win". They are having a fantastic season, top of the league and final in the Copa del Rey, and they have the potential to win this cup.

"To play against Barcelona is a great challenge for us", Conte said after easing the pressure on his job with back-to-back home wins over West Brom and Hull in the past week.

"But we for sure will work together, work with the team, but not just to try to stop him: if we focus on just man-marking Messi, it can be very unsafe". When you have to play this type of game, you have to prepare. We have a plan in our heads. Of course there are other great ones, like the one I play for, Chelsea, and PSG, other greats.

"The Premier League teams are in good shape in Europe again after a few years".

"They are the clubs with the most visibility, it's everyone's dream to play for these clubs".

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