Antonio Conte makes excuse for why Chelsea can fail against Barcelona

WATFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05:  Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea looks dejected during the Premier League match between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road on February 5, 2018 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has raised concerns over his side’s inexperience ahead of their clash with Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Blues have it all to do at the Camp Nou next Wednesday after conceding at home in the first leg, courtesy a Lionel Messi first goal against Chelsea in nine games.

Chelsea had taken the lead through a sublime Willian shot from behind the 18-yard area, but allowed Barcelona into the game as they failed to take hold of the tie. Ernesto Valverde’s side hold the advantage going into the second leg after that away goal and would relish the game at the Camp Nou.

Chelsea’s Italian manager was asked if his side can replicate the display Juventus produced a against Tottenham last week, but Conte gave reasons why Chelsea may fail.

Some can point to his statement as an excuse before a whooping, as Conte moans his side’s lack of ‘experience’ to replicate what Juventus achieved at Wembley in their round of 16 second leg.

“Don’t forget you are talking about a team with many players with great experience. We don’t have this experience and you have to build this experience over the years. Juventus showed great resilience, they suffered a lot and in the right mind they killed Tottenham. But I repeat: in the team there are many players with great experience and many players who won the Champions League in the past or played in a final of the Champions League.

Experience is always important. This Chelsea team has not got great experience, not many players with great experience, because this team lost a lot of old players with great experience. Now we have many players who need experience. Andreas Christensen, Tiemoue Bakayoko. We have to work as a team and try to be ready. We must be prepared to suffer in this type of game, because when you play against this type of team, one of the best teams in the world, you must be prepared to suffer. It won’t be easy.”

Antonio Conte, Evening Standard