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Antonio Conte must risk Eden Hazard backlash once again to beat Barcelona

Antonio Conte faces one of the most difficult decisions of his Chelsea tenure to date. On Wednesday night, his side travel to Camp Nou in need of at least one goal yet every instinct in the Italian’s body will gravitate towards playing with the same striker-less formation that nullified Barcelona so well in the first leg. His players, however, are less enamoured by an approach that leans too heavily on solidity rather than creativity, and it has presented a massive dilemma for the manager. Chelsea defended impressively at Stamford Bridge and did a particularly good job of prioritising who to press and hound, and who to allow time on the ball. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the danger men, were swarmed, while holding midfielders Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and right-back Sergio Roberto were deliberately afforded the most touches on the night. Conte knew those players could not hurt his side, so sat off and clogged the space between… Read the full story...


Published By: Metro - Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

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