Picking a Combined XI of Chelsea & Barcelona Players Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League Showdown

Chelsea host Barcelona in one of the real glamour ties of the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday. Both sides possess incredible squads that are the envy of most of the rest of the footballing world.

The Blues have Belgian stars Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, complemented by La Masia graduates Cesc Fabregas and Pedro, while Barcelona boast arguably the finest attacking front line in the game with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Here’s a combined XI of the best players from both the sides.

1. GK: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)

Despite Marc-Andre ter Stegen being a more than able choice between the sticks, the position has to go to Courtois – who is truly world class on his day.

The Belgian has been publicly courted by Real Madrid and has made no secret of his desire to return to Spain some day, after a three-year loan spell at their city rivals Atletico. 

2. RB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Despite moving to a more central role in the backline during Antonio Conte’s tenure at Chelsea, Cesar Azpilicueta is a right-back by trade, and more than merits his spot over Sergi Roberto or Nelson Semedo.

The Spaniard has long been one of the most talented defenders in the Premier League, both defending and going forward, and will be looking to show his talents on a much bigger European stage against Messi, Suarez and co ahead of the World Cup.

3. CB: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)

Despite this being his first season back at Chelsea after a couple of seasons on loan at Gladbach, Andreas Christensen gets the nod over Samuel Umtiti after a brilliant first half of 2017/18. 

The Dane has quickly made himself Antonio Conte’s defensive lynchpin and appears to be the heir to John Terry’s throne in the heart of the backline.

4. CB: Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

Ex-Man Utd man Gerard Pique has had a phenomenal career since swapping Manchester for Catalonia in 2008, lifting every trophy available to him at the heart of the Barça and Spain’s team.

He has been one of the most consistent defenders in world football for a decade and would be a shoo-in for almost any team.

5. LB: Jordi Alba (Barcelona)

A particularly difficult choice, with Marcos Alonso among the best goalscoring defenders in Europe, and one of the bright lights in a mixed season for Chelsea.

However, his fellow Spaniard gets the nod for his experience and proven quality on the big occasions – having excelled in Champions League and Copa del Rey finals. 

6. CM: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

The world’s best defensive midfielder on his day, Kante has had a middling season by his own remarkable standards.

The Frenchman became the first person to win the Premier League back-to-back with different clubs, winning the PFA Player of the Year award last season on the way to the title.

He will be vital if Chelsea are to stifle the Barcelona attacking juggernaut. 

7. CM: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

With the veteran Spaniard nearing the end of his career, he will be looking to add a fifth European title to his glittering trophy haul.

Despite naturally losing a step over the years, the 33-year-old is still one of the world’s best playmakers and will need to be tracked in order for Chelsea to get a positive result.

8. CM: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

After a decade as a stalwart of the Barcelona and Spain set ups (two of the greatest outfits in football history), little needs to be said about Sergio Busquets, who quietly and expertly goes about his business in midfield.

The Spaniard is invaluable to the Blaugrana, offering cover whilst others bomb forward at will and setting up chances with precision passing and deftness of touch.

9. FW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

No words are needed about the inclusion of Lionel Messi, with the Argentine shouldering the loss of Neymar this season to contribute 27 goals and give Barcelona a firm grip on a league-and-cup double with three months left of the season.

Messi has rather bizarrely never scored against Chelsea, and will be looking to finally end his barren run against the west Londoners.

10. FW: Eden Hazard (Barcelona)

With his status as Chelsea’s livewire, Eden Hazard will be called upon to supply the main attacking threat against the Catalans.

The Blues will likely sit back for long spells, but the Belgian will be confident of exposing Sergi Roberto on the counter attack.

11. FW: Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

Having played for Liverpool between 2011 and 2014, Luis Suarez is no stranger to Stamford Bridge, and will be looking to have a positive impact on his return to England.

The Uruguayan is arguably the best number nine in the world and should be a huge threat on Tuesday.