Chelsea FC v FC Barcelona

The big day is almost upon us. The build up has been much as expected: each and every utterance from the connections of both Chelsea and Barcelona has for the most part been spun out of proportion by the press (see below). It has become tiresome to say the least.

In team news, William Gallas has failed to recover from a hamstring injury and Michael Essien is suspended. John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Asier del Horno will return to the starting line-up, while Claude Makelele is expected to be fit. Didier Drogba is likely to start up front.

Several players run the risk of being suspended for the second leg in Spain in two weeks’ time. Yellow cards for Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben and John Terry will see them miss out.

Prediction: Can we stop Barcelona scoring an away goal? I have my doubts. But I believe we can take a lead to the Nou Camp in a fortnight’s time. 2-1.

Read columnist Blingo Starr‘s take on the match here.

Chronologically ordered related links:

Chelsea 1 – 2 Barcelona · Update

See columnists Blingo Starr and Grocer Jack’s reaction to the match here and here.

See the goals here (downloadable zip files).

Match reports: BBC Sport; Sky Sports; ESPNSoccernet; Official Chelsea FC Website; The Guardian; The Independent; The Times; Daily Telegraph.

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