Chelsea need to do what no team has done this season and beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday if they are to reach the semifinals of the Champions League.
The all-English tie is the most delicately balanced of the four quarter-finals after United won 1-0 in London last week thanks to a Wayne Rooney strike. But a raft of statistics and the valuable away goal tip the tie in the home side’s favour.
By contrast, Tuesday’s other match looks a mere formality with Barcelona holding a 5-1 advantage over Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of their second leg in Ukraine.
Chelsea can take comfort from the fact they were the last team to win at Old Trafford, a 2-1 victory last April playing a big part in their triumphant Premier League title surge.
“We have a good memory of that but this is a different story,” manager Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference.
“They (the players) have to truly believe we can win there. I don’t know if they will be able to do this.”
Only two sides have recovered from a first-leg home defeat to win a Champions League knockout tie and if Chelsea become the third they would find it particularly sweet after losing the 2008 final to United on penalties.