One half of the Champions League semi-finals this season is a rematch of the controversial 2009 tie - same stage, same clubs and same venues - Chelsea vs Barcelona. After a goalless first leg at Camp Nou, an Andres Iniesta screamer in injury time at Stamford Bridge, cancelled out a Michael Essien long-range opener and sent Barca through to the final on away goals. Football fans will no doubt remember that semi-final vividly, be it for Essien's and Iniesta's spectacular goals or Norwegian official Tom Henning Overbo's questionable refereeing.
Fast forward three years. Pep Guardiola's Barcelona have gone from strength to strength and are acknowledged by pundits and fans as one of the greatest football teams of all-time, with two-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi at its spearhead. They have reached this stage in absolutely dominant fashion - without losing a single match and scoring 33 goals in 10 matches. They have also been unstoppable in the league of late, winning their last 11 matches, with Messi on a scoring spree.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are surely no longer the force they once were. They are struggling for a top four spot in the league and even their European journey so far has been very unconvincing. However, they will relish the chance to face Barcelona again and they will try their best to reach the final in a desperate attempt to bring a fairytale ending to a disappointing season.
Team News: Chelsea have injury problems in defence with David Luiz likely to miss out after being stretchered off in the Blues' 5-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham on Sunday. Luiz' fellow centre-back Gary Cahill is also struggling with a niggle. However, John Terry will continue to play, despite carrying a rib injury.
Roberto Di Matteo will certainly be wondering if he should retain the team that did so well against Spurs in their last game. Both Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard scored on Sunday and might have done enough to retain their places, while Fernando Torres, who started in both legs against Benfica, will be hoping for a place.
Pep Guardiola has no new injury worries and even has players returning, with right-back Dani Alves, centre-back Gerard Pique, midfielder Seydou Keita and wingman Ibrahim Afellay all back in the squad. However, striker David Villa, left-back Eric Abidal and defender Andreu Fontas remain long term absentees for the Catalans.
One of the great strengths of Barcelona this year has been their tactical unpredictability, Chelsea will probably not know what to really expect until Guardiola sends his boys out at the Bridge - except, of course, that Leo Messi will be playing.
- Barcelona and Chelsea have faced each other 10 times in the Champions League, with each side sharing three wins.
- Messi has faced Chelsea six times but has never managed to score against them, while Torres has netted seven goals against Barcelona during his time at Atletico Madrid.
- This season Chelsea have won all their Champions League home games, while Barcelona have not lost an away match yet. In fact, they have registered victory in all visits, except the 0-0 draw at Milan in the first leg of the quarter-finals.
- When the two clubs met in the quarter-finals in 2000, Barcelona went through 6-4 on aggregate after beating Chelsea 5-1 in the second leg at Camp Nou. That game saw a Roberto Di Matteo start for the Blues, whilst a certain Pep Guardiola played for the Catalans.
Probable Starting Line-up
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Kalou, Sturridge, Drogba
Barcelona: Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Mascherano, Alves, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Sanchez, Messi