Chelsea vs Barcelona Injury Report: Iniesta, Semedo, Suarez, Luiz, Barkley


barcelona pedro

Barcelona host Chelsea tonight in the return leg of a UEFA Champions League knockout round tie that has been about as compelling as possible so far. The first leg, at Stamford Bridge was a classic, ending in a 1-1 draw that really should have been a victory for the hosts. Those missed opportunities could come back to haunt the Blues in this one as Barca boast a very formidable home record in European competition.

They are unbeaten over the past five years with 22 wins and two draws over that span.

chelsea fc

One of those draws however, was 2-2 to Chelsea in 2012, and if that result repeats itself, the Blues would move on to the quarterfinals. Looking at the injury and fitness situation, we’ll start with Chelsea. Antonio Rudiger should be fit to feature having been rested against Crystal Palace over muscular fatigue. Defender David Luiz remains sidelined while Ross Barkley is still likely unavailable.

On the other side, Andres Iniesta returned to training but remains a doubt. Denis Suarez is not available due to an adductor injury. Right-back Nelson Semedo is also out.

Odds: Chelsea 6/1, Draw 15/4, Barcelona 2/5

Chelsea starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Prediction: Barcelona 2, Chelsea 1

Feel free to post your own Chelsea and/or Barcelona starting XI predictions, as well as your best guess as to what the final score will be.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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  1. Mike O'Gorman says:

    Why the NCAA Should Never Consider Compensating Student Athletes and What’s Wrong with the System
    To address this highly sensitive topic, I thought that I would as a few key questions and attempt to answer those questions on my own.
    What is the purpose of higher education? According to Wikipedia, “Higher education (also called post-secondary education, third level or tertiary education) is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education. Often delivered at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, and institutes of technology, higher education is also available through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, and other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications.”
    What is the purpose of the NCAA? According to, The Association – through its member institutions, conferences and national office staff – shares a belief in and commitment to:
    • The collegiate model of athletics in which students participate as an avocation, balancing their academic, social and athletics experiences.
    • The highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship.
    • The pursuit of excellence in both academics and athletics.
    • The supporting role that intercollegiate athletics plays in the higher education mission and in enhancing the sense of community and strengthening the identity of member institutions.
    • An inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds.
    • Respect for institutional autonomy and philosophical differences.
    • Presidential leadership of intercollegiate athletics at the campus, conference and national levels.
    In examining the answers to both questions above, it cannot be read or derived that higher education or the NCAA is a place where students are or should be compensated for their participation in activities. In fact, the NCAA core values state that for athletes there should be equitable participation, which is why Title IX was formed, and for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds there will be career opportunities.
    There is however one major flaw to the current system – COACHES SALARIES. College basketball coach compensation range from $100,000 to $9,000,000 annually, well above the average tenured professor at the institutions that they coach. This is where the NCAA needs to step in and evaluate what the true purpose of college coach responsibilities are and mandate compensation rules consistent with that purpose. In my opinion, the purpose of a college coach is as follows:
    • To educate individuals about the rules and regulations of the area of focus in which the individual participates
    • To improve the skills of individuals
    • To encourage teamwork and work towards a common goal
    • To enable growth of the individual in order to achieve success beyond higher education
    • To help individuals become better human beings

    Look hard into each of the items on the list above and you will find that the purpose is the same for every faculty member of higher education institutions. This begs the question, why are college coaches treated so much more favorably than tenured professors? The answer is that as the popularity of NCAA sports have made it such that colleges and universities will do whatever they can within the rules (and sometimes outside of the rules) to gain the competitive advantage. And since there is no restriction on how much coaches can be paid, colleges and universities are throwing huge amounts of compensation at coaches to attract top talent and win.
    This hardly seems fair, considering that the top professors at these institutions enable their students to go on and have successful careers, often resulting in more compensation than the average athlete. Also, many of the colleges and universities in the U.S. are state and / or Federal funded and therefore are limited in terms of the level of compensation that state and Federally funded institutions can provide to employees. This seems very strange and out of compliance that some of the highest paid state employees in the U.S. are college coaches.
    In conclusion, colleges and universities as well as the NCAA were established and are maintained to provide education. Accordingly, the system of providing such education needs to be fair and equitable towards those that are employed by it and the system needs to be constantly reviewed to ensure that the purpose for which it has been establ

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