It’s Barcelona advantage in this Champions League last 16 tie. The Spaniards earned a 1-1 draw against Chelsea in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, and that away goal could prove so handy as they entertain the Blues at the legendary Camp Nou on March 14.
But this competition has taught us that we should never write off Chelsea when their backs are against the wall, because time and again they have proved the doubters wrong!
And, in fairness, they actually dominated the first leg on home soil; not often you can say that against this mighty Barcelona side. The Londoners’ winger Willian twice hit the woodwork before breaking the deadlock, and the only time that Barca really threatened was when Andres Iniesta intercepted a wayward Andreas Christensen pass and fed Lionel Messi. The Argentine did what he has been doing for more than a decade and put the ball in the back of the net.
1. FC Barcelona v Chelsea Odds
So yes: Barcelona are the favourites to progress to the quarter finals of this competition on the grounds that a) they have that away goal that could prove all-important, and b) very few teams go to the Nou Camp and win.
That said, Chelsea have gone to Catalonia and got a huge result not once but twice in recent memory. In both 2006 and 2012 they drew 2-2 there… a result which would see them qualify here!
So can the Blues prove that history repeats itself in Spain, or will Barcelona lay waste to yet another visitor to their atmospheric home?
As far as the bookies are concerned this is barely a contest: they have made Barcelona the comfortable 1.44 favourite, with Chelsea available at a huge 8.00. The draw can be backed at 5.00.
And there’s a ‘to qualify’ market too: no prizes for guessing that Barcelona are as short as 1.25 to make it to the quarter finals, with Chelsea at 4.00.
2. Barcelona vs Chelsea Predictions
The big question here is can we really expect Chelsea to win this match? A 0-0 draw is no good to them, while a 1-1 stalemate takes us to extra time. If the Blues want to win this match outright, they will need to triumph at the Nou Camp or draw 2-2, 3-3 or any other high scoring combination!
To do that, they will need to break a run that has lasted since May 2013: the last time Barcelona lost a Champions League match on their own turf. Other than that, you have to go back to Chelsea’s own 2-2 here in 2012 to unearth a result that would have knocked the hosts out of the competition.
That sums up the size of the task facing the Blues, and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte must decide whether he wants to take the game by the scruff of the neck and attack – as they did in the first leg – or sit back and hope to sneak a winner on the counter attack.
Our Barcelona vs Chelsea betting prediction:
The bottom line is that Barcelona have only failed to find the net in one of their last 24 Champions League games at the Nou Camp, and that will set panic into the Chelsea players. Take the 1.50 available on a home win here.
Barcelona have an away goal to take with them back to the Nou Camp for the second leg of this Champions League last 16 tie. Will they see out the aggregate win, or can Chelsea’s players achieve the seemingly impossible? Type your Barcelona v Chelsea betting tips below, in the comments section.
You can also check out Besiktas vs Bayern Munich Betting Tips.