Antonio Conte Must Play This Striker In The Camp Nou
Alvaro Morata is clearly feeling the pressure of not having scored a goal since Boxing Day in the 2-0 win over Brighton. It`s a prerequisite for a striker to score and at the moment the Spaniard is sadly, literally, not hitting his targets.
Even more worrying is his propensity to lose his head and get himself booked. We saw him pick up two yellow cards, in a short space of time, in the FA Cup tie against Norwich. The second of which was for dissent after which he was senselessly sent off.
He came on during the second half of yesterday`s game against Palace and he very nearly repeated the whole stupid process. On a another day with another referee and he would have had to have walked.
Yesterday Olivier Giroud, was unlucky not to have scored. He did everything but hit the back of the net. At the moment, he looks the better of the two on all fronts. He must start the game against Barcelona.
If Chelsea are to get through the tie, they need to score at least one goal, probably two, better three. It`s going to be incredibly difficult. European referees won`t put up with any of Morata`s nonsense, and these games against the Catalans have historically ended with a Chelsea player picking up a red card. This team are not capable of repeating the heroics of that 2012 team that delivered a result in the Nou Camp with 10 men.
Starting Eden Hazard in the false nine role won`t provide the goals that we`ll need to progress either. It has to be Giroud. We saw how ineffective and isolated the Belgian was against Manchester City. I`m sure Antonio Conte would argue there was a method behind what I perceive to be his madness.
This Barcelona game is different though, we can`t just shut them out for ninety minutes, we need more. We`re asking in our current front page poll who you think should start the game on Wednesday. What we do know for certain is, it`s going to be a very tense night.