Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola is able to speak from experience about the kind of uphill battle that awaits the current side under Antonio Conte as they took on Barcelona during the second leg at the Nou Camp of their last 18 ties today.
In an interview, the 51-year-old believes they have the ability not to make things easy for Ernesto Valverde’s LaLiga leaders. “It is not going to be easy. Playing in Barcelona is a tough game. But Chelsea is a strong team, with good players. They can go there and surprise Barcelona; they have the ability to do that. Chelsea has the type of players Barcelona don’t like very much, so it’s still an open game.”
In the end, Chelsea has the type of player that Barcelona does not admire. Therefore, it is still an open game. Still, Gian Franco Sola, one of Chelsea team’s members lost to Barca in the 2000 Champions League quarter-finals.
“They will have to defend well. The first leg was 1-1, Barcelona will want to try to win the game (and not rely on the away goals rule). I am sure they will want to be safe. If Chelsea defends well first, then they can use the counter as they can do really well. They stand a very good chance,” Zola adds. Moreover, both teams started the campaign at the end of frenzied summer, stores near me.
Conte, on the other hand, is yet to find out the answer to his string issues. “We need to repeat the game we played at Stamford Bridge and to try to exploit the chances to score. It’s important to understand that we must be prepared to suffer, if we play with Hazard as No. 9, or if we play with (Olivier) Giroud or (Alvaro) Morata as No. 9 and Hazard as No. 10,” Conte told Chelsea TV, Straits Times reported.