Tip Chelsea - Barcelona
The big European occasion is back at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea host La Liga leaders Barcelona in the first leg of their last sixteen Champions League tie. Chelsea haven't had it all their own way this season and there's hardly any chance of them retaining their Premier League title. They also struggled at times in their Champions League group eventually finishing second behind Roma. They lost 3-0 away to the Italians and had to battle to get a 3-3 home draw against them. Recent form for Chelsea has been shaky with losses to Bournemouth and Watford and conceding seven goals in those two games. They have picked up with wins over West Brom and Hull City but there's a wide gulf between those two sides and trying to keep Barcelona at bay. The Spanish side finished three points clear of Juventus in their group and only conceded one goal in six games and kept three clean sheets away from home. They only have one loss in their last 38 games in all competitions and are yet to taste defeat in La Liga this season Just 11 goals conceded in 24 league games again highlights the fact they aren't all about Messi and Suarez. Chelsea's defence will be severely tested in this game, go for a Barcelona away win.
Key points Chelsea - Barcelona
Barcelona are yet to concede an away goal in the Champions League this season.
Chelsea have only won one of their last four home Champions League games.
Bournemouth and Watford scored seven goals between them against Chelsea, not the kind of stats you need going into a game against Barcelona.
Conclusion Chelsea - Barcelona
Barcelona are dominant at present and that's not something you can write about Chelsea. The Londoners are inconsistent and it's hard to see them getting into the kind of form that can get a positive result against the mighty Spaniards. Go for Barcelona to get a vital away win in the first leg of this tie.
Chelsea Barcelona Prediction published on February 21, 2018