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Chelsea vs Barcelona Preview: Team News, Predicted Score & Likely Line-ups

Chelsea welcome Barcelona to the Bridge for the 1st leg of their Champions League semi final. Here’s a preview with team news, likely line-up and predicted score

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Chelsea welcome current holders Barcelona to Stamford Bridge tonight for the first leg of their Champions League semi final clash.

The winners of the two-legged tie will book a place in the final on the 16th May at the Allianz Arena, where either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid will await the victors.

The Blues have a faultless home record in the Champions League this season having won all five of their previous matches, conceding just two goals. This will be Chelsea’s sixth semi final appearance in nine years, but they will hope to improve upon their record of only winning one of those ties.

They face the task of overcoming the current champions Barcelona, and a certain Lionnel Messi, who broke the 60 goal barrier this season with a double against Levante on Saturday. However, Chelsea will be boosted by the fact that the Argentine ace has never got on the scoresheet in any of his six previous meetings with the Blues.

The last time the two sides met was at the same stage in 2009, in a highly controversial game that saw Andres Iniesta score a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, with the Spaniards progressing on away goals.

Team News

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has injury problems at the back with David Luiz a major doubt after being stretchered off against Tottenham on Sunday. Gary Cahill is also a doubt with a foot injury, but is expected to start alongside John Terry.

Branislav Ivanovic will return at right back after missing the FA Cup semi final through suspension, with Jose Bosingwa making way. Fernando Torres is pushing for a recall after only making the bench on Sunday, but Didier Drogba put in a superb goal-scoring performance versus Spurs so it will be difficult for Di Matteo to leave him out.

Pep Guardiola has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, with Gerard Pique, Dani Alves, and Ibrahim Afellay all returning to the squad. However, Seydou Keita has not travelled due to a thigh injury while David Villa is out for the season with a broken leg.

Cesc Fabregas is hoping to retain his place after starting against Levante on Saturday but it’s likely the rested Andres Iniesta will return in his place.

Likely Line-ups

football formations

Predicted Score

Despite their formidable reputation, Barcelona don’t have a great away record to Premier League sides having won only 5 of their 16 games on English soil. Chelsea will be full of confidence following their 5-1 win over Spurs but we can see a cagey first leg that will end in a draw. Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona.

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