Chelsea vs Barcelona preview: Blues look to continue good record over new-look Barca

Chelsea will be looking to improve their good record against Barcelona when they meet in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Antonio Conte’s side have won just four of their previous 12 matches in all competitions while La Liga leaders Barca have only lost once all season.

However, Chelsea have fared well in recent meetings with Barcelona.

The Premier League side are unbeaten in their last seven Champions League games against Barcelona. They also beat them in the semi-finals in 2012 on their way to winning the trophy.

Team news

David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko are all dealing with injuries and are likely to miss the clash, while Marcos Alonso will return and Ross Barkley is also available.

Alvaro Morata, who has been on the Madrid side of the Clasico divide, is in contention to start, though Olivier Giroud is also an option for the centre of attack.

Potential Chelsea starting XI: Courtois; Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard.

Nelson Semedo is suspended for the clash at Stamford Bridge, while Philippe Coutinho is cup-tied, having represented Liverpool earlier in the season.

Ernesto Valverde has favoured a 4-4-2 lately, with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi leading the line. Ousmane Dembele could potentially start ahead of Paulinho or Ivan Rakitic in midfield.

Potential Barcelona starting XI: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Paulinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Suarez, Messi.

Chelsea and Barcelona are facing each other for the 13th time in the Champions League, the fifth-most played fixture in the competition. They hadn’t played each other since April 2012 – Chelsea won 3-2 on aggregate.

Barcelona have won only one of their six away games against Chelsea in the Champions League (D1 L4), it was in February 2006 (2-1). They have also never kept a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea will attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2013-14. However, they are winless in their last six knockout games (D3 L3).