Champions League – Rudiger ready for Barcelona test
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against Barcelona when the two sides meet in the Champions League last-16.
The Germany international was part of a Roma team thrashed 6-1 by Barca at the Camp Nou in November 2015, but he insists that he is not fazed by that loss and is not out for revenge at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.
We have to do our job and try to do the best we can.
He told the Evening Standard: “Football is played out on the pitch for 90 minutes, it is not what happens before. Anyone who has fear or something like that should not play.
“My respect for them is good, but once the referee blows the whistle I will always try to win my games.
“We are playing at home and it could be an advantage for us. This is a chance for us to do things right and we have to take it.
“We all know Barcelona like having the ball. We have to try to make the match cat and mouse.
“Of course, it is important we have experienced players as in the last-16 everyone is tough.
“We are playing at home first and it will not be easy for them to come here. We have to do our job and try to do the best we can.”
Chelsea are 12/5 to hold Barcelona to a draw and are 10/1 to claim a 1-0 victory, with Eden Hazard priced at 15/8 to score at any time.
The hosts hope to have left wing-back Marcos Alonso available after a hamstring problem kept him sidelined in recent weeks, but Tiemoue Bakayoko and David Luiz are both definite absentees.
For their part Barca are unable to field former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who is ineligible due to featuring for the Reds earlier on in the competition.