Chelsea need to play the "perfect game" to beat Catalan giants Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16, Blues manager Antonio Conte has said.

Conte described Barcelona, who are on a club-record 31-game unbeaten run in La Liga, as "one of the best teams in the world", but added that Ernesto Valverde's side had weaknesses that his side could exploit.

Chief among those, the Italian argued, was Barca's perceived vulnerability when they do not have possession of the ball.

The La Liga leaders visit Stamford Bridge for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on 20 February.

"We have been analysing this team for a long time," Conte was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "We started one month ago and analysed this team.

"We are speaking about one of the best teams in the world. We have to try to have the perfect game and to try to make the best decisions for this type of team.

"This is a different opponent. They have a fantastic characteristic with the ball, but they can have a weakness without the ball and we must try to exploit this."

Lionel Messi leads the Spanish league's scoring charts with 20 goals in 24 games, but he has not scored in his last five appearances for Barcelona.

Lionel Messi
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has failed to score in eight previous meetings with Chelsea Getty

The Argentine also has a poor personal record against Chelsea, having failed to score in any of his eight previous encounters against the Blues.

Conte said he hoped Messi's underwhelming record against his club continues over the coming two games.

"I hope that we maintain this tradition but we are speaking about a fantastic player," the Chelsea boss said. "We must have great respect but at the same time we must be excited to play this type of game and take on this type of challenge.

"It won't be easy because we know very well this player. We are talking about one of the best players in the world."