Barcelona FC arrived in London on Monday morning, ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last of 16 tie with Chelsea, Tuesday evening at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte knows that if he wants to dump the Spanish giants out of the Champions League, his side will have to produce a perfect performance and dissect the defensive “weakness”to take advantage in the Round of 16 clash.
The Blues boss is under increasing pressure after turbulent second season that has seen them 19 points off the pace in the league, but even so he remains adamant he can depend on his players’ being behind him tomorrow night, in the most anticipated clash of this round.
“On one hand you know this team is one of the best in the world – maybe they are favourites to win this competition,” Conte said.
“On the other hand we must be excited because we have a great opportunity to play a massive game against a really strong team and to show which is our level.
“For sure we are talking about one of the best teams in the world. We have to try to, I repeat, have the perfect game, the perfect game to try to make the best decisions.
“For this type of team, because this is a different opponent, they have fantastic characteristics with the ball. But they can have weaknesses without the ball and we have to try and exploit this.”
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last eight fixtures in all competitions, and have maintained very healthy seven-point advantage at the summit of the Spanish top flight ahead of Atletico Madrid but on the other hand Lionel Messi has failed to score in eight matches against Chelsea – his worst record against any single club in football.