Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has revealed he has suffered sleepless nights plotting the downfall of Barcelona and Lionel Messi.
The Blues host the first leg in their Champions League closing-sixteen tie against the Catalan giants at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night trying to preserve their wonderful file towards Messi’s men.
Barcelona’s records against Chelsea is exceptional summed up by way of their semi-final meeting on this competition in 2012 when they surrendered a -goal cause crash out on the Nou Camp as Roberto Di Matteo’s aspect went on to raise the Champions League for the primary time.
But, notwithstanding a league win over rock-bottom West Brom and FA Cup development on the cost of Championship strugglers Hull, Chelsea nonetheless head into this heavyweight contest having gained simply 4 in their final 12 games in all competitions.
That has brought about intense scrutiny on Conte’s role, in spite of the reality the Italian led Chelsea to the Premier League title final season.
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Following the 4-zero win over Hull on Friday night time, Conte admitted he has been saved wakeful making plans the way to beat the loose-flowing LaLiga leaders.
“In in recent times after the game within the FA Cup, I should be sincere… it became a chunk hard to sleep nicely,” he stated.
“When you need to play this sort of recreation, you need to put together. You must put together everything. You should put together huge things, however the smaller details too.
“They can circulate a end result a variety of the time. We have an concept. We have a plan in our heads. I think that, in this particular moment, it’s very vital to pick the gamers who are at the pinnacle of their shape and then try and do our great to win the game.”
All eyes can be on Messi because the Barcelona talisman seems rating his first aim towards Chelsea, having drawn a clean in his previous 8 outings in this fixture.
Conte knows it will likely be hard to preserve Messi quiet.
“We are talking approximately the satisfactory participant in the world,” he stated while asked about a plan to address the Argentina ace.
“Messi has the capacity to solve the situation and create a chance while you are not seeing the threat to score.
“We are speakme about a exceptional player. We have to pay first-rate attention, but no longer simplest to Messi.
“We ought to understand that, all through the game, we ought to be prepared to go through. But, at the equal time, we should have the idea to go and rating at any moment.”
Chelsea boast their personal attacking arsenal, consisting of Eden Hazard.
The Belgium forward has been linked with a pass to Barcelona’s fierce competitors Real Madrid in latest weeks, but he refused to touch upon his future aside from to kingdom he’s “very satisfied” at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has drawn comparisons with the likes of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo given his perfect ability.
But he concedes he’s nonetheless aiming to be as desirable as the 2 men taken into consideration the nice in the sport.
“It’s desirable to be as compared with the greatest ever, Messi or Ronaldo. But I’m completely distinct,” he stated.
“We play in a extraordinary league. I try and do my process and try and reach their level, due to the fact they’re the exceptional in the world. Every season I attempt to do my fine.
“You need to polish while you play the best inside the global. If I want to reach that degree, I need to do a top notch recreation the following day.”