Frank Lampard has names N’Golo Kante as the only Chelsea star that can stop Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi during their Champions League last 16 showdowns at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea legend says that France international has the ability to trouble the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in first leg tie on Tuesday night.
Messi is enjoying yet another sensational season for club and country scoring 30 goals in 41 games but he yet to scored Premier League Champions in eight attempts against the Blues.
Lampard rates Barcelona number 10 as the greatest player of all time and admits his former club will need to adopt special measures to try and stop him.
“I can’t see Chelsea man-marking him because he can pull you all over the place and ruin your own game plan,” Lampard told Evening Standard.
“Whoever is nearest to him has to take the responsibility to take that space because the minute you let him get his head up and run freely at you, you won’t get near him. I can say that from experience.
“There will be periods when you just have to back off. The problem is that being at home, there will be people wanting to see Chelsea have a bit of a go at them.
“But their players are that good, you have to back off to deny them space where they can really hurt you.
“It is a fine line for Chelsea. They need to sit back but at the same time put pressure on him so he doesn’t become relaxed on the ball.
“This is where I think N’Golo Kante will be key. He is the one in Chelsea’s midfield with the abilities you need because he is so quick into the tackle.
“But it is important all 11 press their opponents, starting with those players at the top of the pitch.
“Conte has a lot of decisions to make about who he plays next to Kante in midfield as well as those further forward.”
Chelsea face Barcelona having only managed four wins in all competitions in 2018 with back-back lost Premier League games earlier in the month and are 19 points adrift of Manchester City.