Preview: Chelsea vs. Barcelona

Lionel Messi
© PA Photos
Chelsea will have to stop 61-goal Lionel Messi if they are to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League. Here, Sports Mole previews their chances of causing an upset against the reigning champions.

Many bookmakers have rated Barcelona as 1/5 favourites to knock Chelsea out of the Champions League and advance through to May's final with relative ease.

Barca have history in their favour, having won three out of their last four meetings with the Blues.

However, they may have to take to the field at Stamford Bridge without the services of midfielder Xavi, who is reportedly struggling with a muscular complaint.

Centre-back Gerard Pique is also thought to be rated as 50/50 with a thigh problem.

Chelsea also have injury concerns of their own, mainly over defender David Luiz. Should the Brazilian fail to recover from a leg injury, then Gary Cahill is expected to play alongside captain John Terry.

The English defensive duo will face Lionel Messi, who has 61 goals in all competitions this season.

Perhaps equally as worrying for the home side is the fact that they have lost their last three semi-finals against Spanish opposition in UEFA competitions.

Current form:

Chelsea: LDWWDW
Barcelona: DWWWWW

Possible lineups:

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole; Essien, Ramires, Lampard; Mata, Drogba, Kalou

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Iniesta, Fabregas; Sanchez, Pedro, Messi

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Frank Lampard
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea25193352183460
2Manchester CityMan City25164551292252
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs25148346182850
4Arsenal25155554282650
5Liverpool25147454302449
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd25139338211748
7Everton25118640271341
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2510783431337
9Stoke CityStoke258893036-632
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2595113443-932
11Southampton2586112831-330
12Burnley2593132736-930
13Watford2586112942-1330
14Bournemouth2575133549-1426
15Swansea CitySwansea2573153154-2324
16Middlesbrough25410111927-822
17Leicester CityLeicester2556142443-1921
18Hull City2555152249-2720
19Crystal Palace2554163246-1419
20Sunderland2554162446-2219