Chelsea Vs. Barcelona, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Catalans Might Have A Problem In Goal

Barcelona are heavy, heavy, heavy favorites to best Chelsea in their UEFA Champions League semifinal and go onto Munich for the final. Their defense is the best in La Liga and while they do not lead the league, their attack, led by Messi and the midfield duo of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, is as dangerous as you would imagine for a team with those players on the pitch. The Catalans look well on their way to the final.

One place that has not been a concern for Barcelona has been goalkeeper. Victor Valdes has been relatively healthy and in top form for years so it's almost an afterthought that they have a goalkeeper because you never hear anybody talk about him. He's just that reliable, or is he? After years of sure-handed, smart and decisive goalkeeping, Aaron Duckling from Barca Blaugranes is beginning to worry about Valdes.

Victor Valdes will start in goal as per usual, and ideally we will see the Valdes we all know and love, rather than that doppelganger that has been taking his place between the sticks in key matches. For example, his error against Real Madrid was pretty disastrous, while the less said about that feeble attempt at collecting a corner on Saturday, the better. Usually Valdes rises to the occasion, but increasingly I have noticed those moments of jaw-dropping brilliance are being diluted by schoolboy errors. They are few and far between, but enough to cause some concern heading into the most important week of the season.

Chelsea will likely need to play perfectly to beat Barcelona over two legs and even then, they will likely need some help from the Catalans. Could Valdes provide them that help with some of those "schoolboy errors"? It's not something Barcelona fans have had to worry about before, but after this season, it might be time to start.

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!

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