Antonio Conte’s Plot Against Lionel Messi Ahead of Champions League Clash

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has spent a whole lot of time working on his team, to ensure that the long-term tradition which he inherited of Lionel Messi not scoring against Chelsea is maintained when both sides clash in the two-legged round of 16.

So far, the five-time ballon D’or winner has played against Chelsea eight times and have failed to score a single goal against the blues, even though he has had 29 shots on goal in all of these meetings.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash, Mirror Sport reported Conte to say: “I hope we maintain this ­tradition. It won’t be easy because we are talking about one of the best players in the world. And if we focus on just man-marking Messi, it can be very dangerous.”

Conte has complained this ­season when teams have ­enjoyed an extra rest day to prepare for clashes with Chelsea.

But the source further disclosed that Conte was not impressed by the comments of Barcelona boss ­Ernesto Valverde, who is moaning that Chelsea have been given an extra day to prepare following their FA Cup tie on Friday. “We are talking about a team used to playing every two days,” he said, dismissively.

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