?Lionel Messi’s record against Chelsea suggests that there may yet be some hope for Antonio Conte’s side in the Champions League last 16.
The Blues will have been disappointed to be pitted against Barcelona having finished as runners-up in their group.
Ernesto Valverde’s side have made an excellent start to the season, cruising through a difficult Champions League group and sitting five points clear at the top of La Liga.
They are set to rekindle their European rivalry with Chelsea, after the dramatic, occasionally controversial meetings of recent years.
The last fixture between the two was the Champions League semi-final of 2012, where Chelsea progressed unexpectedly and went on to beat Bayern Munich in the final.
That will undoubtedly encourage the current Chelsea side, as will Messi’s strangely underwhelming record against the club.
The Argentine forward, as per Opta Joe, has yet to find the net against Chelsea in eight appearances, failing with 29 shots on goal.
It represents Messi’s worst record against any club in his prestigious career, and the Blues will be hopeful that it continues when they meet again in February.
The 30-year-old’s current form, however, does not suggest that he will struggle to perform against Chelsea. His goal in Sunday night’s 2-0 win over Villarreal took his tally for the season to 17 in 21 games.
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