Champions League Lines & Game Preview: Chelsea vs. Barcelona

Champions League Lines & Game Preview: Chelsea vs. Barcelona

Written by on February 19, 2018

Once you get into the Round of 16, you are generally in a position where at least half of the remaining teams are good enough to win it all, no matter what the Champions League Lines might say. This tends to be the round that separates the contenders from the pretenders, and the remaining teams require a little bit of the luck of the draw to move on. It’s fair to suggest that neither Chelsea nor Barcelona got particularly lucky with this one, as these two certainly fall into the category of potential winners. The defending English Premier League champions have not been at their best this season, including the soccer betting frontier, but still find themselves in the top 4, just 3 points out of second. Barcelona has been brilliant this season and have all but wrapped up the La Liga crown. These two do have a bit of history in European competition having met 12 times in the past, with Chelsea holding a slight edge in the wins department. Their last meeting came in the Round of 16 in the 2004/05 season, with Chelsea winning that one 5-4 on aggregate. Can we expect the same outcome here?

Chelsea vs. Barcelona Champions League Lines & Game Preview

  • When: Tuesday, February 20 at 2:45 PM EST
  • Where: Stamford Bridge, London
  • TV: FS1
  • Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Champions League Lines: Barcelona +104 (Over/Under at 2.5 goals)

Key Facts

  • Teams have met 12 times – Chelsea Won 4, Barça Won 3
  • Chelsea won 5-4 on aggregate in 2004/05 last 16
  • Lionel Messi goalless in eight games against the Blues
  • Tiémoué Bakayoko, David Luiz injured for Chelsea
  • Barcelona’s Nélson Semedo suspended
  • Second leg at Camp Nou: March 14th

Why bet on Chelsea?

While it would be easy to look at Chelsea’s current 4th place position in the Premier League as a disappointment, it’s worth remembering that Manchester City is putting together a season for the ages. Chelsea is just 3 points out of second, having put together a 16-5-6 record, whilst also racking up 49 goals in those games. Oddly enough, though, Chelsea are only 5th best in the league at home, going 9-2-3, scoring 24 and giving up 10. It’s worth noting that 4 of the 10 goals they have given up at home came in a single game against Watford recently, so they have been pretty tight defensively. They have certainly been good at the back in their last 2 games, scoring 7 and giving up none in league and FA Cup action. With the league race now essentially over, you feel that Chelsea is going to focus a lot of their attention on this tournament, so look for a strong home performance in the opening leg.

Team Statistics

  • Games Played: 6
  • Won: 3
  • Draw: 2
  • Lost: 1
  • Scored Goals: 16
  • Conceded Goals: 8

Possible Line-Ups

  • 13-T. Courtois
  • 28-C. Azpilicueta
  • 2-A. Rüdiger
  • 21-D. Zappacosta
  • 24-G. Cahill
  • 4-C. Fàbregas
  • 15-V. Moses
  • 10-E. Hazard
  • 11-Pedro
  • 7-N. Kanté
  • 9-Á. Morata

Why bet on Barcelona?

If we were to have a discussion about which domestic club is the best in Europe right now, you would have a hard time arguing against Barcelona. This is a team that is unbeaten through 24 games in La Liga, and while we can’t yet crown them champions of Spain, it seems like only a matter of time before that coronation comes to pass. As you would expect, Barcelona has been explosive in La Liga, scoring 62 goals, but they have also been very good on the defensive side of the ball, surrendering just 11 goals in those 24 games. Barcelona comes in as the slight favorite at the Champions League Lines against Chelsea. They have also been great on the road, winning 10 and drawing 3, while putting together a goal difference of +25. One thing that is interesting to note here is that in the 8 games that Lionel Messi has appeared in against Chelsea, he is yet to register a goal.

Team Statistics

  • Games Played: 6
  • Won: 4
  • Draw: 2
  • Lost: 0
  • Scored Goals: 9
  • Conceded Goals: 1

Possible Line-Ups

  • 1-M. ter Stegen
  • 3-G. Piqué
  • 18-J. Alba
  • 23-S. Umtiti
  • 8-A. Iniesta
  • 4-I. Rakitić
  • 5-S. Busquets
  • 20-S. Roberto
  • 15-Paulinho
  • 10-L. Messi
  • 9-L. Suárez

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I see this one as being a bit of a cagey affair in the early going, with Chelsea eventually going to need to open up to get the win in the home leg. Not a lot of goals here, I believe, but a vital away goal for Barcelona. Score: Chelsea 1 – Barcelona 1