March 6, 2018 at 2:27 pm #1608081
Will he or won’t he make it?
The good news for Iniesta was that the tear in his femoral bicep wasn’t more than three centimetres.
However, under normal circumstances, even with that information, a return in just over a week is very unlikely, with 20 days the expected convalescence period.
AS state that, as of now, his chances of making the squad to face Chelsea aren’t great, but are also not impossible, and the player is prepared to force the issue.
With nine days of rest, Iniesta will spend time with Emili Ricart, the physio he trusts most, until March 12th, at which point an evaluation will take place to see if he’ll be ready to play against the Blues, at least for a bit.
This won’t have been the first time the veteran midfielder has done this, playing with a small tear in his right leg during the 2009 Champions League final against Manchester United.
It may not make any difference to the final outcome but a Barca without Iniesta has to be advantageous for Chelsea.March 6, 2018 at 4:11 pm #1608127
Must admit not totally convinced that Iniesta is the force he used to be in terms of being a game changer. However, as we saw in the first leg if you give him an opportunity the footballing brain is still there even if the legs are not
Personally, I am not that worried and feel that the whole focus has to be on ourselves. I think in the first Barca game and the ManU game that we have shown we are capable of containing good players but the odd lapse of concentration or an individual mistake can cost us badly
We also saw at the weekend the need to change the mindset, and I would argue the personnel, in order to go and get the goal that we desperately require
I do not think this is out of the question by any means and really will depend on Conte getting his tactics and team selection correct. So long as he does not have a hidden agenda, which is how I felt after Sunday, then we have every chance to pull the rabbit out of the hat. KTBFFHMarch 6, 2018 at 10:04 pm #1608269
So much hype in PSG and Madrid tought them lesson tonight. people judged RealMadrid too early. i watched Casemiro and he was a class above the rest tonight. if we can get him we will not be that bad. him and Kante sitting together and Casemiro is also box to box midfielder. that one will be magnificent. about Barcelona. i think we need to have the perfect match to get something. i would be tempted to beat Morata up top. because of his pace and knowledge of Laliga.March 7, 2018 at 8:16 am #1608344
Will it be another false 9? Really hope not.March 7, 2018 at 8:22 am #1608348
I think Chelseaman might be right and Conte could go with Morata and maybe the same formation that was used v Atletico away with Hazard playing off Morata.
Whatever tactics we use and whatever team Conte picks we face a massive task though.March 7, 2018 at 10:21 am #1608452
999…going off Conte now big time!.If he approaches the Barca game with his damage limitation counter attack bullshit attempting to merely keep the score against down to respectable levels like what he done v Man.City,I’ll scream.We need to play with ambition and as if our lives depended on it,we must take the game to Barca.No more false number 9 saftey first claptrap.Morata owes us big time,if he’s not up to task 70 mill or not… f–k him off!.We need to show some passion and will to win despite adversity…ok we might lose 5-0 but at least I’d like to say we had a go!.If Conte turns up with any negativity I think Romsn should be ready to press the eject button to jettison him out the club in short order compensation or not!.Conte just merely going through the motions so he can walk out and straight into the Italian national job in the summer is making our players think they can coast!March 7, 2018 at 11:21 am #1608505
Mtal – said exactly the same for the City game. Go there with ambition – we are CHELSEA for gods sake – and make them worry about us…!!!
If we are not good enough then so be it but at least turn up and try to win the game. We do have the players in our squad capable of turning a game on its head and in all honesty – Barca are aware of that fact and respect it as well (but regardless they will play their game to their strengths which is an attitude I can only applaud). KTBFFHMarch 7, 2018 at 11:29 am #1608514
Great post mate
Posted pretty much since last week as have many others
This is has been contes approach pretty much since the turn of the year with some shocking performances and not just the city game
I was all for conte but like you defo think he knows that what has gone before he will be dispensed pretty sharpish knowing he can take the Italy job and being WC year keeps high profile and also family staying on Italy.
No catch here but I invite you to come back on and debate with others as this is the majority feeling of fans on this forum not just mine which you insinuated the other day which led to our heated spat.March 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm #1608584
BP, like I said on emotional level agree with everyone and I never ever want to see us play like that again, take emotions out of it and I don’t think we would be in a better state now if we had “gone for it” and got slaughtered.
Like I said, all heat on conte, none on the players, if we pressed and got thrashed the players would have been slaughtered too (like arsenals were) and confidence would be through the floor.
In response to WF’s considered response to me yesterday (just before nine shut the thread)
1) If we played hazard wide and opted for real no.9 we would have conceded more chances and more goals imo, cesc and danny needed protecting, willian and pedro can do that far better than hazard can and our wingers could not stray too far from midfield due to the ridiculously weak midfield pair we had to start with, If kante was fit I think we could have afforded to play hazard left and morata up front.
2) You suggested conte could have got a better result by adopting a high press similar to Liverpool. Problem with this wf is Liverpool are Liverpool and Chelsea are Chelsea. Their game is designed around gegenpressing and they have players suited for the high press, we do not. If we tried that city would have done to us what they did to spurs when they tried it.
I honestly cant think of how we could have come out of sundays game any better, it was damage limitation pure and simple. I don’t like it but the problems all stem from our recruitment so when the shit hits the fan I want conte to be protected a little bit out of respect for him.March 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm #1608588
LD – I understand where you are coming from and in fact at work tried to argue that playing the way we did we limited City to few chances and a defensive mistake cost us. However, I have 2 issues with my own argument and they are (1) City appeared to play well within themselves due to playing Arsenal twice in a short period but you felt if they went for it then the score could have been worse and (2) for a team of Chelsea’s calibre and status not to even try to win the game, play it at a walking pace and not appearing to have any motivation to do anything but damage limitation is not acceptable for me
Personally, I do not think that if we had gone for it we would have suffered as bad as Arsenal for example. We are better organised, we have better players and for parts of the game City would themselves have been on the back foot
Regardless, no one will ever know but while we need to be tight for the Barca game we also need to score so something will have to change. KTBFFHMarch 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm #1608598
1905, you hit the nail on the head in saying we dont really know how it would have panned out if we played a different way. My respect for conte however means until I can think of a superior strategy based on the players we had and the opposition we faced I will back conte as I am sure he believed this was the best way to get through this fixture and as an elite coach I hold his opinion above my own, gary nevilles or any one else who does not have the record conte does.
I think we would have got battered if we tried to take it to city but it is hypothetical and will not begrudge any body who feels differently about that.
regards our status, yes we should never be in this situation and never have to lie down like that, maybe if the board listened to the man they pay 10m a year in regards to recruitment we would have had a team more capable of competing in that game, if they want to pay 10m a year to someone just to ignore their expertise then hire me when we sack conte please!March 7, 2018 at 1:35 pm #1608603
With regards the game v barca, it will very likely be the team from first leg imo
however just read suggestion of 532 with hazard off morata and considering how narrow barca play now it could be a good shout and offer us more in attack.March 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm #1608606
BP, when did I insinuate that it was just your opinion? Not trying to argue here but I know full well it is majority opinion and dont think I ever suggested other wise.March 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm #1608615
Fair enough response mate and will leave the name calling very immature for anyone really on a football forum
Emotions running high for all
my rant was more based around the poor displays for a while now and not just the city game hence why it’s maybe contes time may well be up
Personally up until the last couple of weeks wanted him stay but once again at CFC things are not right with our manager.
Here’s hoping we can get something next weekMarch 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm #1608626
Guys, let’s not turn this thread into another City away thread I closed that thread because it was going around in circles and there had been and still was a lot of anger and confrontation on that thread.
Let’s park last Sunday now and look forward to the Palace and Barca games. Cheers All 999March 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm #1608631
LD – I can fully understand going to place like City and Barca and looking to park the bus. Obviously look to keep things tight BUT at the same time surely you must have some intent to try and win the game
I recall about 3 breaks in the second half which looked promising but Pedro gave the ball away. In the first half (and the second) Hazard was a periphial spectator so effectively we were playing with 10 men anyway…?
For me, Conte got his selection wrong. I would argue that if we knew we were looking to defend for large periods then we needed an outlet and a target man provides that plus they can be useful in the set pieces when we are defending (as well as attacking)
Whether he would sacrifice Hazard as he believed that Pedro and Willian provide better support for the midfield or play Hazard alongside the target man and put an extra body in the middle would be down to him but at least show that attacking intent if nothing else to make the defenders have to stay alert
Water under the bridge now but what grates me the most is the total negativity in which we approached the game. That for me is not tactical it is complete capitulation which for a manager of Chelsea I find completely unacceptable. KTBFFHMarch 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm #1608633
Mtal, my personal view of the Barca game is that Conte knows what’s needed and will set up with that in mind.
I don’t think he will go open and v Barca that could be catastrophic but he knows we can hurt them on the breakaway as Willian proved by hitting the post twice and scoring.
Still a mountain to climb imo no matter what team and what tactics. Cheers 999March 7, 2018 at 2:44 pm #1608635
Ok let 1905’s post on Sunday be the last post it’s all been said and there is nothing new to say and we need to focus on what’s in front of us not what’s behind us!March 7, 2018 at 3:43 pm #1608668
BP, I am as emotional as anyone too, read my post on conte after Watford defeat (and some of my ridiculous comments re mourinho in final season) 🙂 I have a different opinion a few days after bad performance to immediately after one, usually any way.
Nine, understand where you are coming from but I think you should not have closed city thread just because you were personally fed up of it, if you didn’t do that this exchange would be there where it belongs and this thread could remain barca oriented.March 7, 2018 at 5:36 pm #1608729
Well Conte knows that we have to score in that tie or else we are out. which means we have to attack Barcelona if we are to score. against City a point could have been enough, but against Barcelona its must that we have to score. and as the manager Conte is very much aware of that. if Conte sits back and don’t try to attack Barcelona at any opportunity, then i will assume he is insane and not fit to manage Chelsea anymore. we may not match Barcelona in anyway. but we have the capability to hurt them. and that is what Conte will look to do. now Luiz is out for another month which complicates our selection. its either Drinkwater/Fabregas or Bakayoko to partner Kante. but i still would like to make it 3. where we add Willian in to midfield. he has the work-rate and technical ability to compete in there. so a 3-5-2 formation isn’t that bad. Christensen needs to have the game of his life if we are to advance. plus Alonso has to be at the top of his game. Conte is smart and knows what is required from him. let us wait.
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