Chelsea vs Barcelona Predictions, Betting Tips & Preview
Chelsea and Barcelona have produced some memorable Champions League moments since the turn of the century, and Conte’s men will need to progress another to progress here.
Game: Chelsea vs Barcelona
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: Tuesday, 20th January, 7.45pm
Chelsea looked to be struggling after back to back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford. The blues were flat and Eden Hazard was a man on his own. Conte granted his players several days of full rest after that, and his players swiftly responded.
Chelsea beat West Brom 3-0 on Monday before putting Hull City to the sword 4-0 on Friday evening. The back to back wins and clean sheets provided a confidence boost, and they’ll also play this game having had yet more time to rest up and prepare. Barcelona played in Eibar on Saturday and travelled over the weekend.
Eibar were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona on Saturday, but arguably the Catalan club have become less convincing of late. They continue dominate the league only beat Alaves and Valencia by a single goal, also drawing with Espanyol and Getafe. But that’s probably splitting hairs as Barcelona are unbeaten in 31 La Liga games and haven’t lost in the Champions League this season.
Hosts Chelsea are best odds 13/5 with Sky Bet whilst the draw is available to back at 13/5 through William Hill. Betfair are offering 11/10 on a Barcelona win.
Champions League followers probably haven’t forgotten the unsettling high pitch noises that came out of Gary Neville as Fernando Torres rounded the keeper at the Nou Camp, or Andres Iniesta’s stunning injury time goal at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have found their feet and Barcelona haven’t been totally convincing of late, but it’s not often you find the visitors at these odds.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Barcelona 11/10 with Betfair
Nine of the last 12 have seen both teams score in this fixture, but there’s no rush with a second leg to come. Chelsea may be the side more keen to press take an advantage out of the first leg, but that could prove costly if Barcelona are at their precise best. Chelsea will provide a goal threat here but Barca are getting the job done.
Back our Score Prediction: Barcelona to win 2-1 at 15/2 with Bet365
It will take a team effort to get anything out of Barcelona, but Eden Hazard has to be deemed the player most likely to score or assist for the blues. Lionel Messi remains Barcelona’s top goalscorer but he hasn’t netted in five games and Luis Suarez has been a threat away from home. Given Suarez’s glowing reputation in England, it won’t surprise anyone when he wheels away in front of the home fans.
Back our Scorer Prediction: Luis Suarez at 31/21 with Bet365