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Barcelona vs Chelsea: Champions League Injury Report

Chelsea should go into the Barcelona clash with high hopes. Even though the numbers don’t quite show it, the Blues were the better side at home against Barcelona. With a bit of luck the tie could have settled things at Stamford Bridge. According to recent statements from Conte, now it is all about experience and about knowing how to manage the 1-1 draw from a couple of weeks back.

Even though some consider it a bit out of place, the Italian boss issued the following statement:

“For sure, Juventus showed great resilience, they ­suffered a lot and, in the right mind, they killed ­Tottenham. When you play in the Champions League or FA Cup, ­experience is very important. This team has not got many players with great ­experience. We have lost a lot of old players with great experience. Now, we have many players who need it – Andreas ­Christensen, Tiemoue ­Bakayoko. We have a lot of players playing for the first or second time a Champions League game. We have to work as a team and try to be ready.”

Truth be told, he is somewhat right and because he is right, the short injury list Chelsea need to deal with might be more of a factor than usual:

David Luiz – Ankle Injury – out since February 10th. While he is expected to return soon, he will not be available against Barcelona which is a pity given his experience: 54 Champions League appearances, 18 Europa League appearances, and overall close to 100 appearances in international competitions.

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Antonio Rudiger – Muscular Injury – Out since the 7th of March. His presence is not a sure thing against Barcelona which is also a pity. Up until now Rudiger has been involved in 24 international ties with Roma, Stuttgart and Chelsea.

Ross Barkley – Hamstring Injury – out since he pretty much arrived – no return date set.

Unfortunately, the injury lists are not always about quantity and hopefully players like Pedro, Giroud, Hazard and Morata will compensate.

On the other side Barcelona will have to play without Suarez and possibly Iniesta who are both major absences for the Catalans.

It will be battle of tactics as much as a battle on the pitch so all trust should be put in Conte’s managerial abilities. His experience and his way of looking at football should help Chelsea pull off the aggregate result..

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