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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chelsea vs Barcelona CL 08-09: Preview, Live Score

Chelsea is going to host Barcelona in a much-awaited second leg semi final match of Champions League 2008-09 on 6 May 2009 (Wednesday). Both the teams are full of confidence going into the game thanks to their confidence booster weekend victories. After 6-2 rout over arch-rival Real Madrid, Barcelona has literally ensured their Spanish league title as the Catalans now hold a 7-point lead at the top of the table. Chelsea also pulled off a 3-1 win over Fulham this weekend, even though they know it very well that they are far away from retaining their domestic league title this season as the Blues are currently in the third place with 74 points, 6 points adrift of leader Manchester United with only 3 matches to go in the season. However, the weekend victory must have strengthened Chelsea’s confidence ahead of Barcelona showdown in Europe.



Match: Chelsea vs Barcelona; Second Leg Semi Final, UEFA Champions League 2008-09

Date: 6 May 2009, Wednesday

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England

Kick off: 14:15 GMT, 15:15 BST (British Standard Time)

Live on TV: Sky Sports, BBC Radio Five Live



The first leg match was a goalless draw. So, Chelsea seems to have an advantage over Barcelona, but I do not think so. In fact, Chelsea failed to score on the road- meaning if Barcelona could score an early goal at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea then have to score twice to reach the final because a scored draw would allow Barcelona to progress into the final thanks to their away goal advantage.


Barcelona has a strong attacking line up that has the quality to score at Stamford Bridge in their visit to Chelsea. In the presence of Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o, Barcelona features a fearsome attacking line up which could be dangerous against any side and they have proven it once again at Real Madrid this weekend, putting a record 6 goals in opponent’s net in the history of ‘El Clasico’. However, it has been reported that Thierry Henry might not be catch the trip to London as the former Arsenal striker is recovering from his ailment and missed Monday’s training session.



However Barcelona’s main problem lies in their back line as they are missing two of their regular defenders Carles Puyol and Rafael Marquez for the Chelsea match. No doubt, it is a big blow for Barca and it would not be easy for Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola to deal with the situation. Puyol has suspension, while Marquez picked up an injury during the first leg. In their absence, Martin Caceres and Gerard Pique are expected to partner in the middle of Barcelona defense. However, the coach could also play Eric Abidal or Yaya Toure at the heart of the defense. Barcelona’s midfield is very strong that features a combination of resistance and creativity. They have quality holding midfielders like Xavi as well as creative playmaker like Lionel Messi. So, the Catalans could produce lots of chances for their strikers.


Chelsea does not have any big problem regarding injury or suspension, except central defender Ricardo Carvalho and midfielder Deco. Both of whom missed the first leg match at Barcelona as they are struggling to recover fully from their hamstring injury. However, Ashley Cole will return in Europe after missing the first leg match through suspension. So, Chelsea’s defense might feature Captain John Terry and Alex at the heart, alongside Bosingwa and Cole playing in two wings. In the midfield, Chelsea has creative players like Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack, besides a holding midfielder like Michael Essien. Florent Malouda also has good pace and is excellent in providing cross and pass in the box.



Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink has already warned the senior players stating that some of them would have to play for their future. Here is the clear indication that the future of some of the Chelsea veterans would mostly depend on their performance in Europe this season.



Telegraph reported:

When asked whether the futures of some of his players are in doubt and whether that may be a cause for extra motivation – and improved performances – in the run-in to the season's end, Hiddink said: "There are, in many clubs, some players who start playing very well in April and May.

"You can see that in the whole history of the game. All of a sudden you see players coming up in these times. But, generally speaking, even if players' contracts are expiring, at a big club you must have a responsibility to deliver."



Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some online live score and update websites from where you can get the live updates of the match:



Live Score

Goalzz

Live Football Scores

Goal.com

Footie Scorez



The second leg semi final seems to be a perfect stage to expect a mouth watering affair between two of Europe’s best clubs. Barcelona will be looking to continue showing their attacking excellence, while Chelsea will be aiming for the second successive appearance in Champions league final. Now, let us see if the enticing match could live up to the expectation of football fans.

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