Referee Felix Brych of Germany talks to Didier Drogba of Chelsea as Carles Puyol of Barcelona helps him to his feet during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona. Chelsea and Barcelona meet again on April 24, 2012. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Between Chelsea's 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge and Barcelona's average performance in El Clasico, the Blues aren't terribly big underdogs anymore.
Barcelona are not going to win La Liga for the first time in Pep Guardiola's reign as manager. They're trailing Chelsea in the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League, and they don't have an away goal. By their standards, this essentially constitutes a crisis. Barcelona have been universally regarded as the best team in the world since 2008, and they're in danger of losing that symbolic, unofficial title.
The good news for them is that just about everyone important is fit. Girard Pique has been left on the bench for their two big losses over the last week, but he's expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday. Alexis Sanchez picked up a knock last Wednesday, but came on as a substitute against Real Madrid and is expected to start against Chelsea. Lionel Messi did not train on Sunday, but is expected to play.
Chelsea have one major concern of their own, an injury to Didier Drogba. He was left out of the 18-man squad for the Blues' 0-0 draw against Arsenal and is not certain to take the pitch. He's expected to play, however, as it would probably take a broken limb or torn ligament to keep Drogba off the pitch in this situation. David Luiz is still out, but Gary Cahill was absolutely brilliant in the first leg and should fill in again without a problem.
Projected Barcelona Lineup (4-3-3): Victor Valdes; Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Javier Macherano, Dani Alves; Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas; Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, April 24, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
TV: FOX Soccer Channel (U.S. - English), FOX Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet regional networks (Canada), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.)
We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Barcelona vs. Chelsea, 2012 UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History and FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.