Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has urged Antonio Conte to ditch his false nine experiment and return Alvaro Morata to the starting XI to face Barcelona.
The Italian coach played without a recognised striker in the first leg at Stamford Bridge – and copied that same formation away to Manchester United not long after – with Eden Hazard picked to lead the line.
But the Belgian endured a frustrating night, while the Blue must score at Camp Nou to progress, and Lampard believes Chelsea and out-of-form striker Alvaro Morata can take inspiration from Fernando Torres’ performance six years ago.
Writing in his column for the Evening Standard, Lampard explained:
‘It is for big occasions like this that Chelsea bought Morata from Real Madrid for £58m last summer in the first place.
‘There is obviously a question over whether coach Antonio Conte will play with a striker or revert back to the false nine he used in the first leg.
‘I would certainly consider picking Morata to lead the line with Eden Hazard and Willian behind.
‘The striker has to play better than he has done in recent weeks. He needs to be physically stronger and hold the ball up more. He has the physical attributes and technical ability to do this.
‘But what Morata can also provide is a target for Chelsea players to aim at and someone who can run in behind.
‘He can do that job more naturally than Hazard, who without the responsibility of playing up front can get more involved in the game himself.
‘What Fernando Torres did in 2012 shows what a recognised striker can give you against Barcelona. There is that opportunity to play balls over the top to get out.’