Barcelona may not be leading their own league, but there are few out there who do not consider them the world's best team. With Lionel Messi leading an impossibly deep attack and a defense that is as sturdy as there is when Carles Puyol is healthy, the Catalans are just one step below unbeatable, or so the theory goes.
With Barcelona healthy and on top of their game, nobody really believes that Chelsea can beat them over two legs in the UEFA Champions League. The Catalans are just too good and if anyone is going to beat them, it isn't going to be England's sixth place team that is only even in competition for a Champions League place next season thanks to some generous refereeing of late. It wouldn't be tough to find people who say that Chelsea don't have a chance and Barcelona should just go ahead and book their tickets to Munich for the final now. Graham MacAree from We Ain't Got No History agrees that the Blues have only the slimmest of chances, but he kind of likes it that way.
Chelsea are going to have to play their two best games of the season if they want to beat Barcelona, and then then they'll have to hope that they catch the Catalans on one of their bad days (they have some of those, it turns out). But that's what makes this whole tie so special. There's no downside here. There's no shame in losing to Barcelona, who've won this thing twice in the last three seasons, and if we win... well, calling that a historical result would be a bit of an understatement.
Does Chelsea have a "historic result" in them? If they do, they better get it done at Stamford Bridge in the first leg because they're not going to make up a deficit at the Camp Nou in the second leg. But even if they don't it's not like anybody expected any different.
For more on the Blues, check out SB Nation Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History. For their opposition, visit Barca Blaugranes. We'll have more pre-game updates, as well as live coverage of the match, in this story stream, so stay tuned!