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Chelsea get major boost ahead of Champions League clash with Barcelona



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By Boluwatife Ezekiel Olaleye
Premier League Champions, Chelsea have been handed a major boost ahead of their Champions League last-16 clash with Barcelona.
This is after Gerard Pique picked up an injury.
The Spanish international scored a late equalizer against Espanyol in the Catalan derby on Sunday, but picked up a knock in the bruising encounter.
An insider told AS that the injury could keep him sidelined for up to a month – meaning he would miss the clash with Chelsea.
The Blues host Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on February 20, two weeks’ time, and Pique is a major doubt for that away trip.
Pique is currently undergoing tests at the club’s Ciutat Esportiva training centre to determine the full extent of the injury before a diagnosis, and return date, can be ascertained.
Another Barca defender, Thomas Vermaelen is also out injured which gives Ernesto Valverde a serious selection headache ahead of the tie with Chelsea.
Valverde explained, “We are not in pre-season and there is no time for experiments.
“We are in a critical stage of the season and when he is needed to play, he will play.”
Pique appeared to pick up his injury after a bad challenge from Espanyol goalscorer Gerard Moreno.