Chelsea's Antonio Conte to target Barcelona's defensive 'weakness'

Chelsea's Antonio Conte to target Barcelona's defensive 'weakness'
From ESPN - February 17, 2018

Antonio Conte has spent the last month dissecting the defensive "weakness" he believes Chelsea must exploit to dump Barcelona out of the Champions League.

The Blues head coach accepts his side must produce a perfect performance in Tuesday's last-16 Champions League first leg at Stamford Bridge to stand any chance of eliminating Barcelona.

Conte has warned his players not to fixate on marking Lionel Messi, and believes Chelsea can pick the Catalan giants apart when in possession of the ball themselves.

"We have been analysing this team for a long time; we started one month ago and analysed this team," the Italian said of the runaway La Liga leaders.

"We are speaking about one of the best teams in the world. We have to try to have the perfect game and to try to make the best decisions also for this type of team.

"This is a different opponent. They have a fantastic characteristic with the ball, but they can have a weakness without the ball and we must try to exploit this."

Prolific Argentina forward Messi has failed to score in eight matches against Chelsea -- his worst record against any single club in football.

Conte admitted he hopes Chelsea can extend that record, but conceded he knows full well the size of that challenge.


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