Confirmed Lineups: Chelsea vs Barcelona
Chelsea host Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second round tie at Stamford Bridge this evening.
English sides were unbeaten in Europe last week with Tottenham Hotspur holding Juventus 2-2 at the Juventus Stadium, Manchester City thrashing FC Basel 4-0 in Switzerland and Liverpool thrashing FC Porto 5-0 in Portugal in the Champions League, whilst Arsenal were 3-0 winners at Östersunds in the Europa League.
Antonio Conte’s side have been thrashed 3-0 at home by Bournemouth and 4-1 at Watford in recent weeks but handed Hull City a 4-0 hammering in the FA Cup on Friday night. Barcelona are clearing La Liga and were 2-0 winners a Eibar on Saturday.
The two lineups for this evening’s game at Stamford Bridge are confirmed as:
Thibaut Courtois; César Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rüdiger; Victor Moses, N’Golo Kanté, Cesc Fàbregas, Marcos Alonso; Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro
Substitutes: Willy Caballero, Gary Cahill, Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud, Álvaro Morata
Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen start as part of the back three whilst Eden Hazard will play the false number nine role, flanked by Willian and former-Barcelona forward Pedro.
Marcos Alonso is back in the starting lineup after a recent injury as Davide Zappacosta drops to the bench.
17-year-old midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi has been named among the substitutes, along with the experienced Gary Cahill and Olivier Giroud. Spanish striker Álvaro Morata is back among the substitutes after a recent back injury.
Marc-André ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Piqué, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Ivan Rakitić, Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta; Paulinho; Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi
Substitutes: Jasper Cillessen, Lucas Digne, Thomas Vermaelen, Aleix Vidal, Denis Suárez, André Gomes, Ousmane Dembélé
Barcelona are going with a 4-3-3 formation in which Paulinho will play in the number 10 role behind Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi. Messi has not scored in his eight previous appearances versus Chelsea, which includes missing a penalty.
Club record signing Ousmane Dembélé is among the substitutes, whilst Philippe Coutinho is cup tied having played for Liverpool in the competition this season.