Barcelona v Chelsea

Will Chelsea repeat 2012 and have another famous night at Camp Nou?

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The away goal conceded in the first leg will likely come back to haunt Chelsea, who are struggling for form at the moment with five defeats in their last nine prior to hosting Palace at the weekend. These include losses at Man Utd and Man City in their last two, with the Manchester duo nearer to Barca’s quality than any of their other opponents during this time. The hosts have lost just once all season prior to their tip to Malaga, winning 18 of 21 unbeaten home matches and keeping 15 clean sheets. Furthermore, teams that have drawn 1-1 away in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie since 2013/14 have won to nil in three of five second legs.

Tip: Barcelona

Barcelona v Chelsea [To Win To Nil]

Indeed, Barca have won 10 of 11 unbeaten home matches against sides we have ranked in Europe’s top 15 since 2014/15, keeping a clean sheet in three of four such games since the start of last season. However, head-to-head encounters between these two are often tight, while Chelsea have drawn the first-half in four of their last five trips to teams we have ranked in Europe’s top five. The opening 45 has been goalless in six of Barca’s last eight in Europe, so Draw/Barcelona half-time/full-time looks a good price, especially as in the Premier League the Blues have gone in level at the break in each of their last seven encounters with top-six sides.

Tip: Draw/Barcelona

Barcelona v Chelsea [Half Time/Full Time]

Lionel Messi broke his duck against Chelsea in the first-leg at the ninth time of asking, but the last time he faced them that was back in the 2012 semi-finals and the English side were a more complete team back then, regularly reaching the latter stages of the Champions League. After a short dry spell, the Argentine maestro has scored five times in his last four appearances (prior to Malaga), and is decent value to net the opener.

Tip: Lionel Messi First Goalscorer

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