Friday, March 22, 2019

Iniesta returns for Barcelona, Giroud leads Chelsea attack

SoccerNews in La Liga 14 Mar 2018

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Andres Iniesta has recovered from a hamstring problem to claim a place in Barcelona’s starting XI for the Champions League last-16 clash with Chelsea, who have Olivier Giroud leading their attack.

Club captain Iniesta set up Lionel Messi’s equaliser as the first leg finished 1-1 at Stamford Bridge last month but limped out of the 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid 10 days ago, only returning to training at the start of this week.

France winger Ousmane Dembele makes his first Champions League appearance since September following an injury-ravaged campaign, while his countryman Giroud will aim to give Antonio Conte’s attack a more robust edge.

Giroud will be supported by Eden Hazard and first-leg goalscorer Willian, while there is a place in the Chelsea midfield for Cesc Fabregas.

Another ex-Barca man, Pedro, must settle for a place on the visitors’ bench.

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