Chelsea manager Antonio Conte faces a conundrum of balancing his tendency for caution with the English champions' need to score to get past the might of Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 early tomorrow morning (3.45am local time). "It will be a very hard game".
Since joining the Ligue 1 side, the Brazilian has made 30 appearances, scoring 29 goals and assisting a further 19 strikes.
Chelsea have lost all of their five last away games in all competitions and a tie against Barcelona at Nou Camp would be a tough and too much for the struggling Blues.
The two sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, giving Barcelona the slight advantage. When I played for Arsenal, I was a centre back and he was right winger.
Messi struck after 126 seconds, netting through the legs of the hapless Thibaut Courtois, and struck his 100th Champions League goal, again through the Chelsea goalkeeper's legs. Chelsea hit the woodwork twice, but were their own worst enemies in defence.
"It's important to understand that we must be prepared to suffer, if we play with Hazard as number nine, or if we play with (Olivier) Giroud or (Alvaro) Morata as number nine and Hazard as number 10".More news: Microsoft to add new data centers in Europe and Middle East
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With so much speculation over team selection, Antonio Conte has chose to stay put with Oliver Giroud upfront, leaving Eden Hazard in his more favoured position on the wing.
Villas-Boas was replaced by his assistant, Chelsea legend Roberto Di Matteo who along with a whole host of Blues icons - among them captain, leader, legend John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic - blazed a trail to glory winning both the FA Cup and the Champions League.
In arguably one of the greatest Champions League games ever, Chelsea came from behind to advance to the 2012 UCL final with a 2-2 draw against Barcelona. "It was unlucky on our side, but I think mostly it was our individual mistakes that cost us". That made it 3-0 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate in the 63rd minute, all but ending Chelsea's hopes. A lot of my players have never played in this stadium.
And yet you have the think that when Conte praises their effort, he means it.
"They gave everything. We have to continue this in this way, with this will to fight, with this desire to play together". It is down to the player.
Conte said Antonio Rudiger is in contention after recovering from muscle fatigue but Ross Barkley (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) are out.