Antonio Conte says Chelsea must be 'prepared to suffer' against Barcelona
Feb 21 2018 by Dustin Murphy
Phillipe Coutinho played Champions League for Liverpool earlier this season, so he is cup-tied and ineligible for this match.
Antonio Conte has a tough decision at hand on whether to start Alvaro Morata as Chelsea host Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday. No one has more assists in Spain than Messi; only five players have more than Alba.
A change from Barca's traditional 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 has seen them concede just once in their six Champions League games to date, and 11 times in 24 La Liga outings. "A very sad day for me, for Barcelona, for all of us. But I'm completely different", he said.
Conte told Sky Sports: "In these days after the game in the FA Cup, I must be honest, it was a bit hard to sleep well".
Messi's lengthy drought against the Premier League champions, extended by a missed penalty in 2012, looked set to run on into a 10th game during a frustrating 90 minutes for the Argentinian against Chelsea.
"We have an idea".
The former Real Madrid forward has only just come back into the side after a back injury, while January signing Giroud has impressed in his outings for the club so far.
Conte has warned his players not to fixate on Lionel Messi and says they must believe in themselves. I hope he's here with us for many years.
The gulf of talent that Barcelona can attract still leaves him in awe and he is grateful to have had the opportunity to grace the pitch with so many top players.
"For me he is", said the Croat when questioned whether Hazard is world class.
While the visitors dominated possession in the first half, it was Chelsea who went closest to scoring.
The London club will again be facing the Catalan giants in in the first knockout stage of this season's Champions League and Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde wished the London side had won their group saying that he wanted to avoid meeting them. Premier League club Manchester United football manager Jose Mourinho is headed for his third Champions League victory if ever his team succeeds for this year's league. The English style of football is a unique, physical style, but they play good football as well.
Instead, Valverde has made the best of what he inherited to turn Barca from the depths of a pre-season crisis into potential treble winners.
TEAM NEWS: David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko are both missing for Chelsea but Marcos Alonso and Ross Barkley are in contention.