Chelsea have drawn Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16 knockout stages with our first leg at home on February 20th followed by the return leg on March 14th.
It’s the second best draw we could have hoped for with Besitkas being the preferred tie. We have avoided PSG which is a result as they face Real Madrid but looking at the dates of our games against the Catalan side, it gives Antonio Conte and his Chelsea side a problem with what could be key Premier League games sandwiched in between.
Having drawn Barcelona I am fairly confident that we can do a job on them over the two games. With Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata working in tandem as they did at Atletico, with N’Golo Kante patrolling our midfield and with Cesc Fabregas making an emotional return to the Nou Camp (with Pedro of course), we have the ability to beat a side that isn’t as good defensively as they one were with Puyol alongside Pique.
The problem Antonio Conte will have to face is the fact that in between those two massive Champions League games, Chelsea are due to face Manchester United away the weekend after the first leg, A potential FA Cup reply in midweek the week after, Manchester City away on March 3rd followed by Crystal Palace at home on the 10th of March with our second leg at the Nou Camp on March 14th.
Without question it will test the mettle of Antonio Conte’s side and of the squad as a whole as we look to pick ourselves up that Premier League table while trying to do the best we can being back in the Champions League.
It’s a run of key games that will determine how our season will be judged. Let’s hope we can pick up maximum points and reach the Champions League Quarter-Finals.