MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 09:18:25

Gianfranco Zola tips Chelsea to "surprise" Barcelona at Camp Nou

Zola tips Chelsea to
© Offside
Gianfranco Zola expects an "open game" when Chelsea take on Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday night, and backs his former side to pull off a "surprise" result.

Chelsea icon Gianfranco Zola has insisted that his former club "stand a good chance" of progressing through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, despite the odds being stacked against them.

The 2012 winners face Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday night needing a goal to stand any chance of advancing, having drawn the first leg 1-1 on home soil three weeks ago.

Zola acknowledges the magnitude of the test Chelsea face, with Barca boasting a formidable home record this term, but is quietly confident that the Blues can pull off a shock result.

"It's not going to be easy. Playing in Barcelona is a tough game. But Chelsea are a strong team, with good players," he told Omnisport. "I think they can go there and surprise Barcelona, they have the ability to do that.

"Chelsea have the type of players Barcelona don't like very much, so in my opinion, it's still an open game. They will have to defend well. The first leg was 1-1; Barcelona will want to try to win the game [rather than rely on the away goal advantage].

"I'm sure they will want to be safe. If Chelsea defend well first, then they can use the counter as they can do really well. I think they stand a very good chance."

Zola found the net for Chelsea in a 3-1 win over Barcelona in a knockout-round clash 18 years ago, but still ended up crashing out on away goals.


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Gary Cahill in action during the Champions League game between Chelsea and Qarabag on September 12, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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