Former Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol claims that striker Alvaro Morata could be a real threat to the Catalans’ hopes for a quarter-final spot in the Champions League.
The La Liga side plays host, as Chelsea visit the Camp Nou for the second leg of the round of 16 fixture. Lionel Messi managed to break his goal drought against the Premier League champions after scoring at Stamford Bridge after Willian had put the Blues ahead. Things have not been the best for the Blues with inconsistency being the major problem.
Manager Antonio Conte decided to play Eden Hazard in a false nine position after losing trust in his summer signing Alvaro Morata. The star seems to have lost his scoring boots after failing to score in his last eleven appearances for the Blues. Despite his trouble in front of the goal, Puyol feels that Morata could trouble Barcelona if given the chance.
Carlos Puyol highlights Morata threat
The defender revealed his fondness for the Spaniard and felt that the 25-year-old can give defenders Gérard Pique and Samuel Umtiti a run for their money. He said : “I think he’s a very good player, he has scored goals,’ He is powerful. He could do damage to Barcelona. I don’t know what his physical condition is – whether he is at 100% – but he is an important player and Chelsea are missing him”.
Despite the nagging back issues troubling the striker, Puyol believes that Morata is a dangerous player. He stated: ‘He has had back problems but he is a dangerous player.”
With his recent ploy of playing Hazard as a false nine failing miserably and openly questioned, Conte decided to give summer signing Olivier Giroud, who provided instant impact despite not scoring and gave Hazard a lot of freedom on the flanks in their victory over Crystal Palace.
Morata’s past with Real Madrid could prove vital as the striker has experience playing in Spain and Morata has also scored against Barcelona during his loan spell at Juventus. Apart from Morata, Chelsea carry another weapon in their arsenal in the form of Pedro who was part of the La Liga giants.
Playing Morata in such a high profile fixture would be a huge gamble as it could go either way. The striker could either score and break his drought using his experience in Spain or another dismal performance considering his form could take a huge hit on his morale. Puyol is right in his case as Morata has proven to be a prolific goal scorer, but this just is not the time for Morata, who needs to find his rhythm back slowly.
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