After finishing second in their qualifying group despite having the same points as table-toppers AS Roma, who attained 11 points, Chelsea was dealt the misfortune of potentially meeting a trio of European superpowers. Paris Saint-Germain, Besiktas and Fc Barcelona stood before the Blues, and their fate was sealed during Monday's Champions League last-16 draw, with the current Premier League holders being paired with the latter menacing La Liga outfit. A staunch, daunting two-legged tie indeed.

The Blaugrana are yet to lose domestically this term and appear a well-oiled machine under Ernesto Valverde's command.

However, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte seems to be relishing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with one of the continent's most feared set-ups, claiming that his squad - who were beaten 1-0 by West Ham United on Saturday - "must be positive" and "ready" to floor their familiar foe.


Ahead of Chelsea's Premier League fixture against Huddersfield Town on Tuesday evening at the Kirklees Stadium, Conte expressed in a press conference - via a report published by Mirror - that his set-up's "reaction must be positive". The Italian manager is not naive to the tests which lay ahead of the south-west Londoners if they are to progress further in the tournament and then proceeded to state that at the stage they're at they "must be ready to face every team."

Chelsea will have their resources tested, prodded and probed when they take-on Barca at Stamford Bridge 20 February 2018.

Conte continued to stress that if his contingent is to reach the quarter-finals they must exert "120 percent at home and away". The second-leg at the Camp Nou will commence on 14 March 2018, incidentally.


History tells that Chelsea have met Barcelona 15 times in Europe, winning 5, drawing 5 and losing 5.

The first meeting between the two clubs was in 1966, although the most recent occasions came in 2012 when Chelsea faced them in the semi-final of the Champions League. Winning the first-leg 1-0 at home, Chelsea were subsequently tasked with an imposing second-leg in Catalonia. Though captain John Terry was sent to the showers early, the English juggernauts managed to overturn a 2 goal deficit to draw the match 2-2, meaning they marched onward to the final with a 3-2 scalping under their belts on aggregate.

Whenever these two are pitted against one another it's always a blockbuster which is filled to the brim with goals, brawn and controversy. With many a fan and a neutral waiting eagerly for the fixtures to roll around, the League schedule will, for now, consume Chelsea's and Barcelona's attention - both camps will acknowledge the importance of bolstering form and confidence as the highly-anticipated date approaches.