It's been a rough week for Barcelona. In the last six days, they have lost the two biggest games of their season to date. Shortly after losing 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, they fell at home to hated rivals Real Madrid, throwing away any chance of retaining the La Liga title. For the first time at the helm of Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho has beaten Pep Guardiola to either the league or the Champions League.
This is just about the most hardship that Barcelona have ever had to face with Guardiola at the helm. Losing two straight games is almost unthinkable for this team, who has claimed two Champions League titles and three La Liga titles in the last three seasons. Failure to win in three straight games and elimination from two competitions in four days is a disaster for Barcelona.
How are they going to respond to this 'hardship'? Anyone who claims to know is really just guessing, but Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History is sure that, whether Barca's response is positive or negative, it won't be mediocre.
Barcelona are a wounded animal and we're going into their lair. There are two possible outcomes. Either we can poke them a few times and they can then bleed to death, or they'll turn around and bite our collective heads off. I have no idea how it'll go - I'm bracing myself for crushing disappointment while at the same time realising that if we do pull this off I will do a dance of impossible joy. For several days.
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.