Alvaro Morata has warned his Chelsea team-mates that Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be unstoppable when the two sides meet in the Champions League.
The two giants collide at the last-16 stage in the latest instalment of their long-running European rivalry.
Messi has faced Chelsea eight times without scoring a single goal from 29 shots – his worst record against a single club during his career.
But Ernesto Valverde’s side head into the tie flying high and Morata believes it will take an outstanding rearguard action for his side to progress.
‘Messi can’t be stopped,’ the Spain striker told Movistar+.
‘If we can get a good result here, we have to play a defensive game with spaces and try to bother them as much as possible.’
The first leg of the last-16 tie takes place at Stamford Bridge on February 20, with the return leg at the Nou Camp scheduled for March 14.
On Monday, Eden Hazard eased the pressure on under-pressure manager Conte with a deadly double to shoot Chelsea back into the top four.
Conte’s job would have been in serious jeopardy if Chelsea had lost against rock-bottom West Brom, but Hazard’s brilliant brace and Victor Moses’ strike ensured the Blues returned to winning ways after two consecutive Premier League defeats.
Conte put talk of his job security to one side after Monday night’s win saying: ‘We are getting used with the speculation.’