Owen Hargreaves: Why Chelsea fans can feel upbeat about Champions League prospects
The Man United legend is feeling positive about Chelsea's prospects in the Champions League
Owen Hargreaves believes Chelsea supporters should feel confident about their Champions League prospects despite drawing Barcelona in the last-16 draw.
The defending Premier League champions paid the price for finishing in second place in their group after Antonio Conte’s side were pitted against four-time winners Barcelona in Monday’s draw.
Chelsea were unbeaten in eight Premier League games before a 1-0 loss to strugglers West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday to all but end their title challenge.
Conte’s men have suffered surprise defeats by Burnley, Crystal Palace and West Ham this term, while the Blues lost 1-0 to Manchester City in their top of the table clash last season.
The Blues will look to the cup competitions as their best chance to win some silverware this season following disappointing results in the Premier League.
However, former Manchester United midfielder Hargreaves believes Chelsea have reasons to be positive and to feel encouraged ahead of their last-16 meeting with Barcelona on 20 February.
“This Chelsea team are very resilient,” Hargreaves told BT Sport.
“They’ve had some difficult moments this season and recruitment has been an issue. But I think this team, they need to peak at the right time. Conte is a manager who seems to find the balance of the team.
“They’ve got Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata and one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Thibaut Courtois. They’re strong defensively. They have a blueprint to have success in the Champions League.”
Chelsea haven’t won the Premier League title since 2012 when the west London side beat Bayern Munich on penalties at the Alliaz Arena.
MORE: Latest Chelsea news and views