Report: Giroud set to start for Chelsea in crunch Nou Camp clash

Chelsea striker Olivier Giruod looks set to be rewarded for his impressive performance against Crystal Palace last weekend with a start in the Blues crunch Champions League last 16 second leg tie against the mighty Barcelona in the Nou Camp tonight.

According the reports in the Mirror, Antonio Conte looks set to ditch the flash nine formation that worked well in the first leg – a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge – in favour of playing with a traditional number nine.

Despite only scoring one goal for the Blues since his £19 million switch from Arsenal in January, Giroud has impressed with his ability to hold the ball up and bring Chelsea’s other attacking players like Eden Hazard and Willian into play.

This ability will surely come in useful in Catalonia tonight as Antonio Conte’s side will need an ”out ball”, if as expected, Barcelona monopolise possession as they normally do.

The tie is finely poised after the first leg, and with these two teams having played out some epic Champions League encounters over the years, it should hopefully be an entertaining game.

Giroud’s inclusion also seems to further confirm the diminishing faith Conte has in Chelsea’s £58 million record signing, Spanish striker Alvaro Morata.

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