The two war-horses are at it again. Fortunately or unfortunately, knowingly or unknowingly, the two superpowers of European football end up meeting in the Champions League every season providing a great spectacle for football lovers all across the globe. In the last two seasons, Chelsea and Barcelona have met in the knock-out stages, this time they meet at the League stage. Both the teams are strong favorites to make it from their group, but in football nothing can be taken for granted.
Chelsea have always wanted to win the Champions League. All their Premiership wins never made them a “European” power in the true sense. Hence the Champions League is pretty high on their agenda this time around.
Jose Mourinho faces a goalkeeping crisis going into this game. First choice keeper Petr Cech may be out for a whole year while Carlo Cudicini isn’t fit enough to take his spot between the posts. In most hilarious circumstances, uncapped Portugese keeper Hilario will make his debut for the Blues in this game. Shevchenko will be looking to kickstart his Chelsea career with some European goals in his kitty. Ashley Cole and Claude Makelele are expected to return to the first 11 after missing the game against Reading.
Barcelona have already opened up a 3-point lead at the top of LaLiga. They overcame a strong Sevilla side at the weekend with their talisman Ronaldinho scoring a brace. They will be without their influential striker Samuel Eto’o who is out with a long-term injury. Iceland star Eidur Gudjohnsen will be playing against his former mates and will have a point or two to prove. The Spanish giants need only 2 goals to reach the 200 goal mark in the Champions League.
MY pick: Oh…This is going to be one roller-coaster joyride for all the fans sitting in their drawing rooms. Fasten your seat-belts as the biggest rivalry in Europe is reignited tonight at the Bridge. Barcelona to win 2-1 !