Cape Town - The writing is on the wall for Chelsea.
Their indifferent form is about to take a nosedive into the full-blown disaster scene territory and by the end of Wednesday’s match against Barcelona, Antonio Conte’s fate will be sealed.
Barcelona are not going to throw this away.
Quite the contrary, they are going to romp past Chelsea and give the English side a real case of the blues as they are unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League. That, and the fact that the Londoners are four points off a place in next year’s competition, is all the ammunition the club’s owner needs to send Conte off into the sunset.
Barca’s home record this term is impressive; 18 wins and just two draws at the Nou Camp points to the air of inevitability surrounding this tie. Barca, too, have been rampant in front of goal scoring 60 while only conceding 10.
Chelsea’s last two away days in the Premier League provide further proof, as if you needed any. Conte’s side have travelled to Manchester twice and lost. First to United, 2-1 and then to City 1-0 in a match where the English league champions in waiting barely got out of first gear.
As if the odds weren’t already stacked against Chelsea, Barcelona have an all-time record against English teams of 19 wins, 11 draws and just two losses. Chelsea actually have a tremendous record at the Nou Camp, where they are unbeaten in their last four trips, but it will all unravel on Wednesday.
And while the first leg may have ended with a pretty innocuous looking 1-1 scoreline, it was Lionel Messi who grabbed the goal thereby breaking his hoodoo against the Blues.
Willian was superb in the first leg (why not back him to score and his side to lose by backing the What More Can I Do BET Boost at 23/1).
Chelsea have progressed past this stage just once in the last five seasons. You can make that one in six after this one’s done and dusted.