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Barcelona vs. Chelsea, Champions League: Lineups & game thread

FC Barcelona v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Chelsea travel to the Nou Camp with the scores level but Barcelona do have an away goal to their name. The Blues require a scoring draw involving four goals (in total) or more at the very least to progress today in normal time.

Date / Time: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 19:45 GMT; 3:45pm EDT; 1:15am IST

Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

Referee: Damir Skomina

Forecast: A very pleasant evening. 14°C (57°F) at kickoff, a slight chance of showers and a light wind of 13 kph (8 mph.)

On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); FOX Sports 1, ESPN Deportes (USA); Sony Ten HD 2 (India); elsewhere

Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); FOX Soccer Match Pass , WatchESPN (select markets) (USA); Sony LIV (India)

Chelsea starting line-up (3-4-3): Courtois | Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, Rudiger | Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso | Willian, Giroud, Hazard

Substitutes from: Caballero, Cahill, Zappacosta, Emerson, Bakayoko, Pedro, Morata

Barcelona starting line-up (4-3-3): Ter Stegen | Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba | Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta | Messi, Suarez, Dembele

Substitutes from: Cillessen, Paulinho, Alcacer, Digne, Gomes, Vidal, Vermaelen

It is Olivier Giroud who starts up front after all, then. The rest of Chelsea’s starting XI is as expected, and for Barcelona it’s Ousmane Dembele in the side instead of Paulinho, contrary to what some may have expected.

Remember the last time Chelsea went to Camp Nou in the second leg of a Champions League knockout stage fixture? Let’s hope tonight is no less magical.

Author’s Note: On the night of April 24, 2012 I stayed up and watched every second of that match with my heart in my mouth but was almost in tears by the time Terry got sent off and Busquets had put Barca ahead. I scurried off to bed, fully expecting to wake up to the news of an absolute thrashing. It wasn’t to be, though, was it? I ended up sleeping in on one of the most magical nights in the history of Chelsea Football Club. Thanks to college tests tomorrow, I’m left with no choice but to sit this one out as well - hopefully via Ram’s association rule, this means Chelsea win.

Time’s up, let’s do this.

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