Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has said that his side must overcome 90 minutes of suffering to have any hope of beating Barcelona.

Conte warned his players concentrate in every moment of the game in another counter-attacking plan this time around.

“When you play against Barcelona – a team that I consider is one of the best in the world – if you want to have a hope to win you have to play a perfect game,” Chelsea’s head coach said.

“We know there are moments to suffer for every team against Barcelona, we must be prepared to suffer, to be compact. But when you have the ball you must have the feeling in your head, your heart, to try to create the chance to score.

“Every team must be prepared to suffer their possession because Barca like to dominate the game. Without the ball, you suffer, you have to suffer to defend well.

“When we have the ball we must know very well which is the way to try to score and create chances in the same way we did at Stamford Bridge.”

The Italian manager said that his side produced an almost perfect display in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge, but paid for one mistake that they made.

Lionel Messi’s 75th-minute equaliser gave the visiting an away goal advantage back to the Nou Camp in what could be a more difficult task to overcome for Chelsea.

Conte also revealed Alvaro Morata is in contention to play in the second leg with Eden Hazard dropping to his natural position in the midfield.

Willian who has now scored three goals in his last four games, has been praised for his performances in Conte’s preferred set-up in recent weeks.

The Brazil international echoed Conte’s call for a faultless display to beat Barcelona and reach the last eight.

“For us to go through we have to do a perfect game with and without the ball,” he said.

“We come here to do exactly the same job we did at Stamford Bridge against them.

“We know Barcelona always have more possession, they like to play, but with the ball we have to be more clinical and without the ball stay compact.

“We have to do the same job because here the pitch is big and we have to stay together to not concede and go for counter attacks.”

Chelsea will have all to play for when both teams collide at the Nou Camp, and Andres Iniesta has returned to training ahead of the game following a hamstring scare.

Both teams recorded wins in their respective leagues over the weekend to Crystal Palace and Malaga respectively.

Chelsea have pulled themselves back into the race for a top four finish while Barcelona maintain their unbeaten run in La Liga as they remain in top spot.

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Hassan Abdulsalam is a student of Mass Communication at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, with years of practicing journalism, currently Serving as the Coordinator of the National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) southwest Region.


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