Monday, 27 April 2009

Hiddink on the attack

Guus Hiddink will instruct his Chelsea players to go for the jugular when they travel to Spain for a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final first-leg clash on Tuesday against warm football favourites Barcelona.

The Dutchman does not subscribe to the theory that Pep Guardiola's Primera Liga title-chasers are untouchable and is convinced they are vulnerable when put under pressure.

Hiddink's optimism should be admired given that such a huge emphasis has been placed on how Chelsea can even begin to shackle flying winger Lionel Messi in the absence of suspended first-choice left-back Ashley Cole.

Jose Bosingwa, the club's right-back who has only 58 minutes of first-team football behind him in the past five weeks, will switch flanks to put the brakes on the Argentina superstar, not that Hiddink is getting too wrapped up in delivering a blueprint for success.

The Russia coach says he has already played out Tuesday's showdown in his head and is adamant that Chelsea must not sit back and invite Barcelona on.

"It's not chess," he said. "With that, you have systems to attack or defend. Football is more complicated than that.

"We should not go there and drop back, wait and wait until the storm is coming.

"We must take what is in our team and do some harm as well. That is always our intention in big games. If we wait, we will have problems."

Chelsea have never beaten Barcelona at the Nou Camp in Europe's premier club competition but they have scored five goals on their last four visits and their last two trips there have resulted in draws.

If Hiddink watched Barca eke out a late 2-2 draw against Valencia on Saturday and witnessed how David Villa left Carlos Puyol in knots, then his plan to go on the offensive could reap dividends.

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