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Willian Warning for Barcelona Ahead of Camp Nou Clash

It would not be an exaggeration to call Willian Chelsea’s saviour at the moment.

The Brazilian winger, 29, has this uncanny ability to assume the mantle of Chelsea’s hero at the most opportune of times. It happened in 2015 as Chelsea attempted that lamentable defence of their Premier League title under Jose Mourinho. It was one of the most forgettable seasons in Chelsea’s history but Willian’s efforts helped to lend it some dignity.

The Blues’ title defence this time around is not nearly as bad but it has still been seriously wanting. Willian once again seems the player most ready to step up to the plate by delivering one inspiring performance after another. His goal against crystal palace was his fifth in as many games, bringing in season tally for Chelsea to 13. Only Eden Hazard has scored more this season, and Willian has never been more prolific since arriving at Stamford Bridge.

His stunning form has meant that a player who so often in the past had to settle for a place on the bench is now virtually undroppable.

Antonio Conte: Willian playing ‘fantastic’

The Chelsea boss may have preferred Pedro to Willian for most of the season so far but he was singing the number 22’s praises after the win over crystal palace.

“You can see that if a player stays in great form I’m the first to pick him in the starting XI,” Conte told his press conference. “Willian is playing in a fantastic way, but I want to underline, not only with the ball, also without the ball.

“He’s working very hard and he’s helping the team without the ball. He’s showing great maturity at this point of his career. In my heart I hope to see him at this level, to continue this performance. He’s playing very well with the ball, without the ball.

“It’s important to have balance within the game, because when we lose our balance it’s very difficult.”

This means that Willian is almost assured of his starting berth against Barcelona on Wednesday. If the speedster continues where you left off in the first leg of the tie, the likes of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti will certainly have something to think about at Camp Nou.

Chelsea’s number 22 could easily have had a hat trick in that game had the posts not been so kind to Barcelona (and suspiciously thicker).

Embed from Getty Images

Ahead of the game, the player himself has spoken of his joy in having secured his spot in Conte’s Starting XI. He told Chelsea FC’s magazine on Tuesday:

“I think you have to enjoy yourself on the pitch. To play football, you have to be happy. I have to enjoy this moment now. When you start to play more games, or when you play every match, you have confidence and things are good for you, then you can keep smiling.”

If William graces the Camp Nou pitch on Wednesday, as indeed he appears likely to, every Chelsea fan will have a reason to be optimistic.

Featured image: Twitter

Chelsea Must Retain Underrated and Consistent Willian

This season has become largely frustrating for those involved with Chelsea and has led to talk of changes being made in the near future. The club has failed to replicate the success of last term’s title-winning campaign, producing a largely mixed bag of results, including heavy defeats to the likes of AFC Bournemouth and Watford, whilst also putting in a solid performance against Barcelona in the Champions League.

Chelsea vs Southampton Preview: Blues Looking to Keep Strong Home Form Going

Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from defeat to rivals West Ham as they welcome an inconsistent Southampton side to Stamford Bridge. The Blues are 14 points behind Manchester City at the top of the league in what looks to be a mountain to climb to retain their Premier League title but their midweek win over Huddersfield will give Antonio Conte cause for optimism.

Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea: Blues Looking to Bounce Back in Yorkshire

Chelsea travel to Huddersfield for the inaugural Premier League meeting between the sides in what promises to be a stern test for Antonio Conte’s men. The Italian has bemoaned his team’s hectic schedule in recent weeks but with European progress now assured and the small matter of two matches against Barcelona to look forward to in the New Year, Chelsea need to focus on their domestic form if they are to maintain any sort of late charge towards regaining their Premier League title.

2018 World Cup Draw: How Chelsea Will Be Represented in Russia

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals draw was made last week at the Kremlin in Moscow, the main host city for the tournament next summer. The event saw all 32 teams placed into eight different groups. As one of Europe’s biggest sides, Chelsea will have a strong contingent of players on show in Russia. Blues players could feature in up to nine of the nations that will be competing next year and today, we take a look at them.

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid Preview: Blues Looking to Secure Top Spot in Champions League Group

Chelsea welcome Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening as they look to secure top spot in Champions’ League Group C. A win for the Blues would guarantee top spot in the group, whilst a draw would encourage Roma in second place to go for it against FK Qarabag. A defeat for Chelsea would then bring Atletico into contention, especially if Roma slip up against the plucky Azerbaijanis.

Chelsea vs Newcastle Preview: Blues Looking to Keep Pressure on Top Two

Chelsea will be looking to keep their superb run of domestic form going as they welcome former boss Rafa Benitez and his Newcastle United side to Stamford Bridge. The Blues have won five and drawn one of their last six Premier League fixtures and need to keep the run going to have any chance of catching Manchester City, who remain 11 points clear at the top of the tree.

Chelsea vs Swansea City: Blues Looking to Keep Pace in the Title Race

Antonio Conte’s Chelsea will be looking to keep their excellent domestic form going as they welcome a struggling Swansea side to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening. The Blues have picked up 13 points from a possible 15 in their last five league matches and are currently looking up the table towards the Manchester clubs – rather than down to the Champions League chasing bunch below them.

Willian: Should He Stay or Should He Go?

After Chelsea’s back-to-back defeats at the hands of Man City and, most recently, lowly Crystal Palace, Chelsea fans have begun to ask questions about who, or what, is to blame. Certain players are coming under the microscope as the Blues need to find a quick response to their problems before the crunch Champions League clash against Roma at Stamford Bridge.