The Champions League draw for the round of 16 saw Real Madrid face PSG being one of the main highlights of the knockout stages while Chelsea drew Barcelona the whole world turned towards the fixture. The star-studded squads, fans and most importantly the history between the two in Champions League is bitter making this delightful clash of the heavyweights.
Barcelona goes into the fixture with a tremendous unbeaten run in La Liga beating the previous record set up by Pep Guardiola for the longest unbeaten streak. They are league leaders at the top of the table and have reached the final of the Copa Del Rey this year.The greatest challenge left or Barcelona this season is to win the champions league which would add another treble to their record.
While past results against Chelsea doesn’t seem too convincing, here are top 5 reasons why Barcelona will Trump Chelsea
#5 Tight Defensive Record
Barcelona is usually known for their short passing and possession-based attacking football have a great record when it comes to defensive duties.
The team ranks 97 on Defense in comparison to Chelsea’s 58 based on stats from Squawka, the team has only conceded 11 goals in 24 games in La Liga. The team has kept 5 clean sheets in the Champions League so far and has conceded only 1 goal in comparison to Chelsea’s 8.
Ernesto Valverde has tightened things at the back with Umtiti & Pique forming the best defensive partnership of this season to match up with Ter Stegen at goal. Chelsea are going to have a tough time finding the back of the net.
#4 Sergio Busquets – Defensive Midfield
Sergio Busquets the backbone of the Barcelona team is key a player who is in form this season. The Defensive midfielder has been in fine form whether it is building up from the back, linking up with Messi, Iniesta, and Suarez or Making Key challenges to retrieve the ball for Barca defensively.
The 29-year old is key to the Barcelona system as he holds the team together in the midfield. He has an average of 2.6 tackles per game and has a pass success rate of 90 percent which makes the transition from defense to offense rather easy for Barcelona
#3 Winning Form and Consistency
Barcelona has maintained their winning run throughout this season and lot o credit should go towards Ernesto Valverde who has got the best out of the team.
Following the departure of Neymar in what seemed to be an undaunting task for Barcelona to stay in the top flight this season. The team is showing stellar form scoring 92 goals in 42 games and recording 15 shots per game to cement their position in the top of the league. The team also has the best passing percentage of 87.5 which is key to their style of play.
The consistency and form that the team has been showing in comparison to Chelsea’s inconsistent season make them favorites to move to the next round.
#2 Ernesto Valverde
The main man behind Barca’s basking form and the solution to its problem is this one man named Ernesto Valverde. The manager has proved his critics wrong since getting appointed, he has revamped the side to winning ways. Tightened defensive areas and brought much-needed discipline to the team.
Valverde has used the squad well throughout this season with Andre Gomes, Dennis Suarez filling in when called upon to fill in for injuries and suspensions. Key performances from new signings like Semedo and Aleix Vidal have also given the squad much needed rest to prepare for the big games
#1 Lionel Messi ,Iniesta & Suarez
Barcelona’s attacking flair has been unmatched this season and the reason behind it are three main men Lionel Andres Messi, Iniesta and Suarez. The three main men have stepped up in terms of performances and responsibilities leading from the front.
The team had to make up for the loss of Neymar, however, Lionel Messi and Suarez took it upon themselves to be the main men for Barca with Iniesta pulling the strings from midfield. The trio has been in decent form linking up in front of goal with support from Paulinho and Jordi Alba down the wing proving to be crucial to Barca’s attack.
Lets us know why you think Chelsea or Barcelona are favorites to move to the next round
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