The rhetoric and the trumpeted message from Conte has been about playing a flawless game and suffering. What he needs is an absolute miracle to qualify for the quarterfinals.
The sides were locked together at 1-1 after Messi's equaliser in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge and Antonio Conte's men held their own for long periods once again, only to be undermined by uncharacteristic defensive errors.
The Belgian's phenomenal play-making skills are wasted whenever Hazard starts as a "false nine", a position he himself claims to be not suitable for. Guardiola's team have a greater ability to hurt teams than Chelsea and there was enough evidence here to suggest Ernesto Valverde's side may grow uncomfortable under high quality interrogation.
"It was a sad game because in the end it was not possible to go to the final".
Conte insisted he would not be happy if Iniesta is ruled out. We are talking not about a top player but a super top player. "I don't know if tomorrow he could play but I think, in this type of game, it's right to face the best players, and not hope that they could miss out through injury".More news: Smoking may increase risk of hearing loss, scientists say
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From their 1-1 draw at home against the La Liga leaders in the first leg, to their demoralising defeat at Old Trafford and a shambolic performance at the Etihad, inconsistency and inadequacy have been second nature for the otherwise purposeful London club.
Barcelona are the heavy favourites to get a win tonight at the price of 1/2 and are priced at 1/4 to progress to the quarter-final. The match kicks off at 8:45pm [Nigeria time] and the centre referee is Jure Praprotnik from Slovenia. With Chelsea needing to score, expect Giroud to be given the go-head with the possibility of a two-player strike partnership remaining a possibility as the match goes on. I expect an opponent similar to the first leg; with all of the same virtues and all of the same danger they created up there.