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Monday, 23 April 2012

Chelsea can keep things tight in Nou Camp

(Ramires will need to be at the top of his game for Chelsea to stand a chance at the Nou Camp)

Chelsea came up with a brilliant result back at Stamford Bridge but it took a lot of luck & things will be tougher here in the outstanding Spanish team's back yard. The 1-0 was a particularly good result for Chelsea though as it now means that Barcelona have to tread very carefully because if Chelsea can sneak an away goal it'll mean they need to score three to progress. Roberto Di Matteo is unlikely to commit too many resources going forwards though as he knows that Barca have the players to take apart any team that tries to play expansively as shown to great effect against Manchester United in a couple of finals where Ferguson wasn't humble enough to curb his team's attacking instincts. It looks like hard work & men behind the ball will be the game plan & Ramires will again be key, the tireless Brazilian is now getting the plaudits his season has deserved & he won't allow Barcelona's players a moment of relaxation.

(Cesc Fabregas could be the 'Keymaster' to Chelsea's defensive 'Gatekeepers')

Barcelona have all of the weapons needed to unlock a tight defence though with Iniesta, Fabregas & the incomparable Xavi pulling the strings from midfield, some of Cesc Fabregas's passing & movement was outstanding in the first leg & he arguably should have scored there. It seems that Lionel Messi continues to do the impossible & get even better season after season setting the bar for excellence ever higher but it must be a concern to manager Pep Guardiola that he was nowhere near the top of his game at Stamford Bridge & was quiet as a mouse by his standards in the 2-1 loss to Real at the weekend. It has been an incredibly busy season for Barcelona already with a pre-season tour, progressing through the rounds of every competition & also the World Club Championships again & they really don't have the huge squad that you'd expect to see with their success & it has seemed in recent weeks that all of those games may just be taking a toll. A lot has been written about Chelsea's record since Di Matteo has taken over & it has been vastly improved but many of their wins have come against low grade opposition or out of sorts sides (like the currently horrible Spurs) & as impressive as last week's win was you have to fancy Barcelona here although odds of 2/7 are uninviting. We reckon this could be really tight, John Terry & Ashley Cole were ace last week & Barcelona really didn't get too many shots off against Real on Saturday, with that in mind this could just be a 1-0 win & send things to extra time. The 8/1 available for 1-0 is tempting but we're keener to get on the massive odds offered for a penalty win, Chelsea are available at 66/1 to win on penalties & Barcelona at 40/1, with the prohibitive odds offered on Barca surely this is the way to go with small stakes offering potentially huge payouts.

Chelsea to win on penalties at 66/1 (Skybet)
Barcelona to win on penalties at 40/1 (Bluesquare & 888Sport)


  1. I will be playing Lampard anytime at 6/1, Barca win 2-1 at 12/1 and Chelsea to qualify is William Hill's Match Winner at 2/1.

    1. You'll be hoping for a Chelsea penalty with that Lampard anytime then, good luck - better hope Mourinho wasn't right about conspiracies in Barca's favour!