Chelsea legend Pat Nevin believes starting a big centre-forward who can hold up play against Barcelona on Wednesday can make a huge difference for Chelsea.
“As usual at the Nou Camp, just like every other team we will not have the lion’s share of the possession. When we get it up front it is absolutely imperative we hold it, to be able to eke out some chances and to give the defence some respite as well,” Nevin wrote on Chelsea’s official website.
“It always happens against Barca, they press you high up the field and if you try to play it out, it just needs one pass slightly off kilter and you are in trouble. See the first game at the Bridge for evidence of that.
“So it may not always be the most pleasing on the eye, but realistically now and again, especially over there, you will need to be able to clear your lines and hit it long. If at that moment there is a big centre-forward capable of battling and holding the ball, it can make a huge difference. It can then allow the likes of Willian and Eden Hazard to join the attack and that is when we are at our most dangerous.
“There is an important point in the midst of this however. You must be brave enough and good enough to keep possession when you get it. Just going for a long-ball hit-and-hope philosophy on its own would be a certain way to lose this tie.”