Leo Messi and Barça will be looking to get a leg up on hosts Chelsea on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge.

Leo Messi and Barça will be looking to get a leg up on hosts Chelsea on Tuesday night in London. | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

It’s a matchup that appears only once in a blue moon — pun intended — as FC Barcelona faces Chelsea FC, aka The Blues, in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge. Kickoff is at 8.45pm CET.

For Barça, which has already made it into the final of the Copa del Rey and holds a comfortable lead in the La Liga standings, Tuesday’s game gives it the chance to strut its stuff on the Old Continent’s biggest stage. With the away goals rule tending to loom large in knockout stage clashes among European giants, Barça's principal objectives will be to strike first and take an aggregate advantage back to Camp Nou for the second leg, which is set for March 14.

Who’s In & Who’s Out

Following Saturday’s 2–0 win at Eibar in La Liga, the team trained again on Sunday morning to begin preparing for the Chelsea match.

VIDEO: Watch highlights of Sunday’s training session.

After the workout, manager Ernesto Valverde released the following squad list for Monday’s trip to London:

1. Marc-André Ter Stegen
3. Gerard Piqué
4. Ivan Rakitic
5. Sergio Busquets
6. Denis Suárez
8. Andrés Iniesta
9. Luis Suárez
10. Leo Messi
11. Ousmane Dembélé
13. Jasper Cillessen
15. Paulinho
17. Paco Alcácer
18. Jordi Alba
19. Lucas Digne
20. Sergi Roberto
21. André Gomes
22. Aleix Vidal
23. Samuel Umtiti
24. Yerry Mina
25. Thomas Vermaelen
31. Adrián Ortolá

Returning to the squad is Vermaelen, the Belgian center back who was declared fit on Sunday. Philippe Coutinho, however, cannot play after having already appeared in the Champions League this season while playing for Liverpool. Fullback Nélson Semedo is serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation during the group stage.

Valverde will have to trim three players from the 21-player list before the match to make it down to the maximum of 18 allowed.

VIDEO: See what the Barça players did in London on Monday!

Form Guide

Chelsea — W L L W W
Barça —  W D W D W



Statistically Speaking

Barça and Chelsea are squaring off for the first time in six years . . . The two sides have played 12 Champions League matches before — all since the year 2000 — with 10 of them coming in the knockout stages and two coming in the group stage . . . This is the third time Barça and Chelsea have met in the round of 16 . . . Barça is looking to extend its record and qualify for the quarterfinals for the 11th straight time . . .

INTERACTIVE VIDEO: Barça, Messi, and Ronaldinho versus Chelsea and other Premier League teams 

. . . The last time Barça and Chelsea faced each other came in the 2011/12 semifinals, with The Blues winning, 1–0, at Stamford Bridge in the first leg before a 2–2 second-leg draw at Camp Nou, thus sending Chelsea through to the Final, 3–2 on aggregate . . . Two current Chelsea players, Cesc Fàbregas and Pedro Rodríguez, featured for Barça in the 2011/12 semifinals . . .

QUIZ: Which other players have played for both Barça and Chelsea?

. . . Arguably the most famous Barça–Chelsea matchup ever came three seasons earlier, in the 2008/09 semifinals, when the pair played to a scoreless draw in the first leg at Camp Nou before a 1–1 draw at Stamford Bridge sent Barça through to the Final . . . Chelsea had taken a 1–0 lead in the second leg, but Barça, playing a man down, ended up qualifying when Andrés Iniesta scored a miraculous goal in second-half injury time to shock Chelsea . . .

INIESTAZO!: Watch highlights of Barça’s astonishing win at Stamford Bridge!

. . . Barça arrives in this season’s round of 16 after winning its group for a record 11th consecutive season . . . Leo Messi has played 655 minutes against Chelsea in his career but has yet to score against them . . . It’s the most Messi has played against any other team without finding the net.

How to Follow the Game Live

As always, the Chelsea–Barça match will be broadcast live around the world. We will also have live English play-by-play streamed on R@dioBarça. And social media users can get live updates on Barça's official Facebook and Twitter accounts as the action unfolds.

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