Friday 22 March 2019

Conte: We must suffer to beat Barca

Antonio Conte looks on at Stamford Bridge. Photo: Getty Images
Antonio Conte looks on at Stamford Bridge. Photo: Getty Images

Antonio Conte  The Blues must score at the Nou Camp to progress at the expense of Lionel Messi and company after last month's 1-1 first leg.

Eden Hazard was deployed as a 'false nine' in that game, but subsequently complained about the position following the lacklustre loss at Manchester City. 

Yet Conte could still call upon the Belgium playmaker to fulfil that role on Wednesday, or opt for either Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata as a more conventional striker. 

"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 Giroud or Morata as number nine and Hazard as number 10," Conte said.

Conte says he will consult his players over the tactics for a pivotal contest and hopes for a repeat performance of the one at Stamford Bridge, albeit without a Barca goal. 

"We need to repeat the game we played at Stamford Bridge and to try to exploit the chances to score," the Italian added. 

Chelsea beat Barcelona en route to winning the 2012 Champions League. 

A remarkable performance at the Nou Camp saw the Blues draw 2-2 and earn a 3-2 aggregate victory to advance to the final of Europe's premier club competition almost six years ago.

Defender Gary Cahill, who was injured in that game, said: "We know it's going to be tough, but we're ready for the challenge."

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