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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
vs.


With approximately 10 days left before the game starts, I thought it would be appropriate to start the match thread.

And what a game it will be! Jose Mourinho will return to Barcelona with one of best sides in Europe, knowing that whoever is victorious from these two legs will take a massive step towards winning the most glamourous club competition in the world.

FC Barcelona starting XI (probable):

Code:
                 Valdés

Belletti   Puyol   Oleguer   Van Bronckhorst

               Márquez

       Xavi               Deco

Giuly                             Ronaldinho

                Eto'o
Chelsea FC starting XI (probable):

Code:
                Cech

Ferreira   Terry    Gallas    Bridge

                Makelele

           Lampard      Tiago

  J.Cole                           Duff

                 Drogba
(Chelsea fans - Feel free to correct any mistakes).

FC Barcelona: After recovering from their "blip", Barcelona have started to return to their winning ways. After slipping up against Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou last week, the players will keen to prove the doubters wrong that handling pressure is no problem for them, which they showed in their 4-1 demolition of Real Zaragoza. Providing nobody gets injured, Barça will be able to field their strongest first XI.

Chelsea FC: Chelsea have shown that money can buy success with the right management. They have been playing some breathtaking football while grinding out wins when things haven't been going their way. Jose Mourinho has got squad that seems unbeatable, but it's up to us to decide that that isn't the case.

Their defence has been their most impressive aspect this season, only conceding 8 goals in 27 league games :eek: Their midfield core will consist of Makelele, who has continued his sparking form when playing for Real Madrid, and Frank Lampard, who has been arguably one of England's most in-form players. Víctor Valdés will have to be vary of his ablility to shoot from distance. Their attack will most likely consist of Damien Duff, who has the ability to torment any full back and Didier Drogba, who is immensely strong and will have interesting battle with Carles Puyol. Their most noticeable absentee, Arjen Robben, will be sorely missed - the statistics of Chelsea playing with Robben and without him speak for themselves.

Barcelona must show respect to Chelsea, but we most not fear them. Possession of the ball will be Barcelona's biggest threat and it'll be interesting to see how Barça's attacks will fare against Chelsea's brick wall of a defence. If Xavi and Deco start to control the game, then Chelsea will have no choice but to track back. Chelsea are excellent counter-attackers, but the absence of Robben, with his blistering pace, will make it far less effective.

May the best team win :devil:
 

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I still don't "smell" the CL in the atmosphere, maybe because La Liga is very hot now. Well, we have to play without the pressure of winning. If we win, it would be great. If we lose, we lose against Chelsea, which is one of the best teams of Europe. So if I were Rijkaard, I would tell the players: "go out and enjoy".

It's the first match, we don't have to lose our heads, it would be important not to conceed any goal at home. I like their midfield Lampard-Tiago and their striker Drogba. We know who is Makelele, he playa like shit, but he runs a lot... so let's make him run. It's important to keep the ball, we'll have our chances then, and let's hope to score.
Just pay attention in the back. Better a 0-0 than a 1-1. For me, a 1-0 would be a good result. Respect, but no fear.
 

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I smell the CL already, been thinking about it more so becuase I have had a chance to see the last few Chelsea games and their game without Robben is very different. Barcelona will have the ball, the question is if the players can get through their strong and hard hitting defense. They will be very disciplined and will attack only when they have a clear breakaway opportunity. The back line of FCB will have to make sure that no one gets behind them on a long lampard pass.

But before that is Mallorca;)
 

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This may be one of the only teams that has the ball more than Barcelona does.

Chelsea is all possession, and do not expect their midfield or defense to fall apart and make mistakes.

This is a Jose Mourinho team, which means alot of possession, alot of hard tackling and absolutely no mistakes. With Cech in goal, he provides them with the safety net they need to attack at times.

Lampard, Cech and Terry are their three main players.
 

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FigoIsGod said:
This may be one of the only teams that has the ball more than Barcelona does.

Chelsea is all possession, and do not expect their midfield or defense to fall apart and make mistakes.

This is a Jose Mourinho team, which means alot of possession, alot of hard tackling and absolutely no mistakes. With Cech in goal, he provides them with the safety net they need to attack at times.

Lampard, Cech and Terry are their three main players.

Thanks for your views on how chelsea is playing

But dont forget that Barca has Deco and Xavi, I would say the best midfield duo in Europe this season, so them playing with absolutely no mistakes is just a big BS, they have a good midfield, but we have a better one.

We will beat Chelsea, and show everyone else who is going to take the CL this season
 

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Chelsea's defence will, frankly, far surpass anything we would face in Spain. Their back line and keeper have been exceptional all season, even on the many occasions that their forwards aren't. When Robben and Duff were out earlier in the season, it was the defensive unit that allowed them to pinch single goal victories. Now Robben is out again, the same thing is happening, they are a bit more predictable in front of goal, but their defence is so solid that it doesn't matter.

With Robben out, I feel that we are better offensively than them. But the players HAVE to be 100% sharp ALL the time. We won't be given any easy chances, we absolutely have to score when we do get a decent chance. Because, even with Robben out, they can still cause our defence a lot of problems. Our defensive unit isn't nearly as good as theirs.

Puyol, Valdes, Xavi, Ronaldinho and Eto'o, these guys I feel will have to put in the 2 games of their lives for us, if we hope to pass Chelsea.

Keeping track of their midfielders will also be needed. Lampard scores a lot of goals, although people don't realise that statisically he is one of the worst shooters in the Premiership and simply cannot fail to score the amount of times he hits a shot in a game. :D

I'm glad that the Mallorca game comes before this fixture, as opposed to a Bilbao or a Madrid or a Valencia, or some other exceptionally tough opponent. I expect us to do just enough to get the points against Mallorca, and perhaps save a couple of players for this tie, because we'll need it.
 

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barcamkd33 said:
We will beat Chelsea, and show everyone else who is going to take the CL this season

Rich statement for someone, who watched the CL from far for the past few years! :pp
Perhaps you win something first and after that start jumping? :shades:
 

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ViscaBarcaInter said:
KLampard scores a lot of goals, although people don't realise that statisically he is one of the worst shooters in the Premiership and simply cannot fail to score the amount of times he hits a shot in a game. :D
Do you have some link or your own statistics because i think lampard has one of the best worked shots in EPL
 

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lili said:
Rich statement for someone, who watched the CL from far for the past few years! :pp
Perhaps you win something first and after that start jumping? :shades:
We have a right to dream....
:party:
But on a serius note i think that chelsea are slight favorites in this game...and with that i think they have better defense and a better coach....we have better individuals that can (read will) decide the game in one true moment of briliance...and ronaldihno always brings his best to the big games....so i realy think that barca will go trough
 

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coky said:
Do you have some link or your own statistics because i think lampard has one of the best worked shots in EPL
It was brought up in the Arsenal forum. :D He scores often, but he hits so many shots per game, that his actual accuracy isn't that great in terms of goals to shots ratio.
 

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If both teams play to their potential, Barcelona will win. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

It's all fun and games beating Fulham and Birmingham but going to Catalunya is a different class. I think Chelsea, despite their excellent progress, are slightly overrated in my opinion. They've had too many games this season were they've scrapped 1-0 wins (Birmingham, Middlesborough, Liverpool-twice, Everton-twice, Aston Villa, Blackburn) whereas Barcelona have often been spectacular. Their best player this season has been Mourinho. The loss of Arjen Robben is also a huge blow, as he brought that killer touch offensively and provided them with that cutting edge. Chelsea are not the same prospect without him. Damien Duff is a very talented individual and Joe Cole is unpredictable, so I think Barcelona need to keep an eye on those two players. In particular Duff, who will have a lot of weight placed on his shoulders now that Robben has been ruled out.

This game will be won in midfield and the key for me in this game is Barcelona's attacking core. Xavi, Deco, Giuly, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o all need to have a big night and rise to the occassion. Chelsea will come organised with a priority of not conceeding any goals and only attacking sporadically on the counter-attack. They will pack the midfield and play with only one upfront, most probably Drogba. So they could prove to be hard to break down, but Barca have the right mix of players to unlock any defense. I think patience is also important. Chelsea have only conceeded 8 goals in 27 Premier League games this season which is fantastic; so if early on Barcelona find that it is hard to break them down, they need to keep their cool and stay focused. The crowd is also very important for me, it isn't easy playing in front of 100,000 Catalans. Ronaldinho has to get the show rolling, because when he comes out to play everything else just comes naturally.

I think a 2-0 win would be very good. Maybe Samuel Eto'o can grab them both. :shades:


Barça_Fan:

Ferreira Terry Carvalho Bridge
Ricardo Carvalho is still recovering from his broken foot and will not take any part in this match.
 

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El Fenómeno. said:
If both teams play to their potential, Barcelona will win. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

It's all fun and games beating Fulham and Birmingham but going to Catalunya is a different class. I think Chelsea, despite their excellent progress, are slightly overrated in my opinion. They've had too many games this season were they've scrapped 1-0 wins (Birmingham, Middlesborough, Liverpool-twice, Everton-twice, Aston Villa, Blackburn) whereas Barcelona have often been spectacular. Their best player this season has been Mourinho. The loss of Arjen Robben is also a huge blow, as he brought that killer touch offensively and provided them with that cutting edge. Chelsea are not the same prospect without him. Damien Duff is a very talented individual and Joe Cole is unpredictable, so I think Barcelona need to keep an eye on those two players. In particular Duff, who will have a lot of weight placed on his shoulders now that Robben has been ruled out.

This game will be won in midfield and the key for me in this game is Barcelona's attacking core. Xavi, Deco, Giuly, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o all need to have a big night and rise to the occassion. Chelsea will come organised with a priority of not conceeding any goals and only attacking sporadically on the counter-attack. They will pack the midfield and play with only one upfront, most probably Drogba. So they could prove to be hard to break down, but Barca have the right mix of players to unlock any defense. I think patience is also important. Chelsea have only conceeded 8 goals in 27 Premier League games this season which is fantastic; so if early on Barcelona find that it is hard to break them down, they need to keep their cool and stay focused. The crowd is also very important for me, it isn't easy playing in front of 100,000 Catalans. Ronaldinho has to get the show rolling, because when he comes out to play everything else just comes naturally.

I think a 2-0 win would be very good. Maybe Samuel Eto'o can grab them both. :shades:




Ricardo Carvalho is still recovering from his broken foot and will not take any part in this match.
Super post..i couldnt agree more (are you sure that you are a madrista

:shades: )
 

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:D

Of course I am a Madridista!

But I support Barcelona in Europe because I love Spanish Football and want the Spanish teams to do well.

:star:
 

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coky said:
We have a right to dream....
:party:
But on a serius note i think that chelsea are slight favorites in this game...and with that i think they have better defense and a better coach....we have better individuals that can (read will) decide the game in one true moment of briliance...and ronaldihno always brings his best to the big games....so i realy think that barca will go trough
Nah, no real favourite in this match, both teams are pretty equal and both matches will be decided by the daily form imo.Sure you can dream and hope. What fan were you if you didn't anyways? I commented the post mainly because of it's ultimateness. ;)
 

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this match really is 50-50. The team with an unparalelled attacking force and the team with one of the best defences currently. Very very interesting.

(1000 post by the way :party: )
 

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Set pieces, Set pieces, Set pieces. This is one thing I fear about Chelsea given how good their team is in the air and how ours is not that good. and VV has shown that he is not that strong in the air and can make mistakes.
As for the rest, it depends on how efficiently we convert our chances.
 

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This is the meeting of the two best clubs in Europe right now. It's a bit unfortunate that it takes place at such an early stage.
Anyway, here's my small preview about this matchup:

F. C. Barcelona

Strenghts:
-excellent attack. In most matches of this season it has been a joy to watch. The almost telephatic understanding and teamwork between Eto'o, Ronaldinho, Giuly, Deco and Xavi and the exquisite skill of these players forms a dangerous machine able to unlock any defense line.

-very creative central midfield. Deco and Xavi have both been among the best midfielders in Europe this season. They are the main reason why Barca has so much possession in almost every game. Defensively they are not so great, but can do the job alright, aslo there is an anchor man in the midfield behind them.

-Ronaldinho. Our wild card against Chelsea. Maybe he hasn't been so great as he was last season, but still he is the most dangerous part of our attack. He is the most talented footballer on Earth and usually he performs good in big games.

-good tactical organization & team spirit. IMO these have been the main reason of our success. Rijkaard has created a team where every player knows his place and responsibilities. It is clearly visible that the whole team enjoys playing together.

Weaknesses:
-the defense. Rijkaard has built our game on attack, which is the right decision, considering the traditions of the club and la Liga in general. Our defense is good, but not among the best in Europe. Puyol is world class, but Oleguer is average, while Gio and especially Belletti go too "gung-ho" sometimes and forget their defensive responsibilities. In UCL, and especially against a team like Chelsea, the weak areas will be uncovered & exploited, so we can't allow stupid defensive mistakes there.

-drop in form in 2005. Our performances in the new year haven't been on the same level as in the start of the season. Against stronger opponents (Villareal, Atletico, first half in Sevilla) the whole team has played poorly. One of the main reasons for that might be the fact that due to our small squad there hasn't been much rotation and the first eleven is getting tired both physically and mentally as the season goes on. and that takes us to the next point:

-Short bench. We don't have much cover for our key players. No decent backups for Ronnie, Eto'o, Puyol, Giuly.


Chelsea FC

Strenghts:

-best defense in Europe. In Premiership they have conceded only 8 goals in 27 matches. Their defense line is composed of great individuals who play as an unit, plus they have a hard-working midfield in front of them. And then there is Peter Cech in goal. To put it short: it will be very hard to score against them.

-impossibly consistent. Mourinho has created quite an order in the team. Under Rainieri they were quite a mystery, you never knew what lineup and performance to expect from them. But Mourinho has selected a well-working lineup and stick to it. One of the reasons of their consistency is certainly the fact that they place the result ahead of entertainment and avoid risks. They remind me Milan a bit: both Ancelotti and Mourinho have opted for a narrow 3 man central midfield where every player is able to work hard and press the opponent. In the result the team controls the midfield, but often lacks ideas when it comes to attacking.
But really, Chelsea might not be among the most entertaining teams, but they have been so damn consistent that you can set a watch by them.

-long bench. Thatks to the bottomless pit of Abramovich's Siberian oil money, Chelsea does not have to worry about their purchases. After spending over £200million in less that two seasons, they have a team where there is a good backup on every position. They could field a two teams if needed.

-good tactical organization & team spirit. The same as with Barca: every player knows his place and responsibilities and enjoys what he's doing.

Weaknesses:

-not that great in attack when Robben is out. That's about the only area where they have been critizised. Mourinho has clearly selected efficiency over flair when composing a team. It especially showed in the early stages of the season the when they relied way too much on Duff in building up the attack. But after Robben got fit, their boring scorelines clearly improved, and they started to score 3 and even 4 goals in a game. Now it seems that Robben will miss both games against Barca and that means problems for Chelsea.

-lack of world class forwards/midfielders. Despite of the available money, they haven't been too successful in luring big starts to Chelsea. Individual skill in attack is certainly one of the areas where Barca has an edge over Chelsea. Big matches are often decided by a moment of individual brilliance and that's something what Barca has enough in Ronnie, Eto'o, Deco, Xavi and Giuly. Chelsea has Duff, Lampard, Gudjohnsen and Drogba, which is not nearly as impressive.


Conclusion: both teams have been impressive this season.Barca is more entertaining, Chelsea more consistent and tactically astute. If both teams would be in their best lineup, it would be a classic 50/50 encounter. But as Robben is injured...well, let's say 55/45 to Barca.
 

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Andy Christ said:
Gio and especially Belletti go too "gung-ho" sometimes and forget their defensive responsibilities.
Luckily we have only Duff coming from the wings. Both Robben and Duff would be too much for the wing backs.
 

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While Chelsea do have an iron-clad defense, I am not worried about our attack cracking them open. Mourinho knows that it will be a tactical error to come to the Camp Nou and defend, and I really think he won't sit back and watch us play. That said, I am not scared of Chelsea. Whatever game they bring to us, our players will be equal to them.
 
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