Antonio Conte: ‘It will be tough to beat Barcelona’

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Antonio Conte: ‘It will be tough to beat Barcelona’

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has claimed that his team will “have to be at 120%” in order to stand a chance of overcoming Barcelona in the last-16 stage of the Champions League.

The Blues were paired with the Spanish giants in Monday’s draw, with the first fixture to take place at Stamford Bridge on February 20.

Conte was keen to stress that his immediate focus was on the Premier League, but the Italian conceded that his team had been handed a very difficult draw against the La Liga leaders.

“We must be ready to play at home. Impossible to see an advantage of playing at home first. Against Barca you have to be at 120%,” Conte told reporters.

“Our priority is the league and to stay up and fight for the Champions League place – at this moment. When it is the moment to play Barcelona then we will start thinking about it.”

Chelsea will look to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham United in the Premier League when they visit Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night.