Uefa Champions League

Stamford Bridge

Wednesday, April 18. Kick-off: 1945


Chelsea centre-back David Luiz is unavailable for selection, having sustained a hamstring injury during the FA Cup semi-final defeat of Tottenham last weekend.

Gary Cahill replaced the Brazilian defender at Wembley, and could deputise once more against Barcelona this evening.

Branislav Ivanovic is also available for selection, and will provide Roberto di Matteo with another option in the centre of defence.

For Barcelona, Gerard Pique has overcome a thigh injury and and will feature in defence along with Carles Puyol and former Liverpool star Javier Mascherano.

Dani Alves is also back from a thigh problem, but Ibrahim Afellay has yet to recover from knee ligament damage.


Lampard relishing underdog tag


Frank Lampard is relishing the prospect of entering into tonight's Champions League tie with Barcelona as underdogs - a tag Chelsea have become unaccustomed to in recent years.

The Blues face Barca at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their last four encounter, with the Catalan giants favourites to not only progress, but also retain the trophy the won at Wembley last May.

Facing arguably the finest club side ever is certainly a daunting prospect for Chelsea, but the Blues will be riding high from the weekend hammering of Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final.

A Chelsea win this evening is not something many observers appear to be contemplating, and Lampard hopes this can play into the hands of the west London outfit.

"I quite like the tag of being underdogs," the veteran midfielder told a pre-match press conference.

"It is refreshing if you believe in yourselves, and we do believe in ourselves.

"The last thing we want to do is take too much fear into this game.

"You can talk yourself into fear by talking up Barcelona all the time and we have to believe in ourselves. We have to respect the opposition but we have to play our game.

"Our style of play has been very effective lately. We are mixing an organised, disciplined game with some very good, attacking football."

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