Chelsea vs Barcelona: Conte speaks ahead of clash

19 February, 2018, 07:30 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Barcelona Ernesto Valverde Ernesto Valverde Barcelona Barcelona Ernesto Valverde sports news football Indian Express

Barcelona travel to the Premier League champions for the first leg of their clash on Tuesday, the Catalan giants having seen their comfortable cushion atop La Liga cut to seven points after back-to-back draws.

And Fabregas has no doubt Iniesta remains a fine player, especially as he has rarely had to rely on physical qualities in his career. "They have fantastic characteristics with the ball, but they can have weaknesses without the ball and we have to try and exploit this".

But Conte believes it would be risky for Chelsea to focus exclusively on stopping Messi, who has never scored against the Blues. We have to try to have the ideal game and to try to make the best decisions for this type of team.

"I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world".

Prolific Argentina forward Messi has failed to score in eight matches against Chelsea - his worst record against any single club in football.

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"I hope to continue this tradition [of Messi not scoring against Chelsea] but I repeat we are talking about a fantastic player and we must have great respect", Conte added.

While Manchester United were in the running for the 25-year-old, its appears Barcelona were also very keen.

Chelsea themselves have not been in the greatest form of late but their 4-0 win over Hull City on Friday night in the FA Cup is sure to have given them some much-needed respite.

"But we for sure will work together, work with the team, but not just to try to stop him: if we focus on just man-marking Messi, it can be very risky". "Because I think that when we feel this type of challenge to man-mark [a player], Messi can become very unsafe". Pedro says that facing Barcelona on the back of two wins will help Chelsea's confidence.

"I don't sense there's any player who's not with the coach".

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