Champions League: Spotlight on Antonio Conte’s tactics as Chelsea travel to Barcelona for most crucial match of season

Chelsea await their most crucial match of the season as they travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie. As pressure continues to mount on the Blues boss Antonio Conte, whose tactics and personnel choices have been questioned time and again this season, Chelsea go into the game on the back of a disappointing few weeks.
From their 1-1 draw at home against the La Liga leaders in the first leg, to their demoralising defeat at Old Trafford and a shambolic performance at the Etihad, inconsistency and inadequacy have been second nature for the otherwise purposeful London club.Barcelona?s Lionel Messi in action with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in the Champions League first leg. Reuters Barcelona?s Lionel Messi in action with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in the Champions League first leg. That the Premier League title has switched home every season since 2009/10 has been an oft-overlooked fact, but the way the defending champions have capitulated this season has surprised many. As the season has progressed, Chelsea, and Conte in particular, have withdrawn into a shell, allowing lesser teams to walk over them. In a stark contrast to Chelsea’s fearless showing at the Wanda Metropolitano during the UEFA Champions League group stage, the Blues have been far more docile off late, as has been their boss.