Chelsea will be buoyed by the fact Barcelona will shape up next week in the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League, without their key man.
The midfielder is an instrumental figure in the Barcelona setup and was very key in the Catalunya club’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago. He blossomed in that game, setting up Lionel Messi for his first goal against Chelsea in nine games.
He, Andres Iniesta was withdrawn in the La Liga leaders’ game against Atletico Madrid last weekend after injuring his hamstring, in the second half.
Iniesta was pulled out after the hour mark in the game, with the Catalunya radio reporting he sustained a ‘small tear’ via Calciomercato.