Graeme Souness: Chelsea vs Barcelona
In this weekend’s Sunday Times, regular columnist Graeme Souness has turned his focus on the big Champions League match this week.
Chelsea take on Barcelona in the last-16 of the UCL.
The first leg will be staged at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, before the return leg in the Camp Nou two weeks later.
Eden Hazard’s Real Madrid move
Souness is set to wind up Chelsea fans as he’s looked at what Eden Hazard has to do to force through a summer switch to Real Madrid.
Of course Hazard, who is 27, is under contract with the Blues until 2020.
Nevertheless, Souness believes that if Hazard stars against Barcelona, that could prompt Real into making a move:
The damage Eden Hazard does to Barcelona in Chelsea’s last-16 meeting with the Catalan club in the Champions League could determine whether Real Madrid make a summer move for him.
How many possible replacements for Cristiano Ronaldo are out there — players who start from the left then drift in to create chances and score goals? Neymar, perhaps, if he is already tired of French football, and Hazard.
But will Hazard make the switch to the Camp Nou?
Souness argues that Chelsea need to be playing Champions League football next season to retain the Belgian. If they don’t, Hazard will leave the club in the summer.
Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League, although Tottenham are just one point behind them with 11 matches to go.
Can Chelsea beat Barcelona?
Souness also gave his thoughts on Antonio Conte’s progressing the Blues past Barca.
Is it possible? For sure. But likely? Not for Souness:
Can you stop them? That’s the difficult part, given their firepower.
I reckon Chelsea need a clean sheet and a win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to stand a chance, as Barcelona will have great belief they will progress to the last eight.