Chelsea host Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, and Blues fans have begged manager Antonio Conte not to start captain Gary Cahill, rated at £13.5m by Transfermarkt.
The 32-year-old skipper has come in for a lot of criticism from the Stamford Bridge faithful following some of his performances this season, and he was dropped to the substitutes’ bench for the club’s last Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion having played the full 90 minutes in the 4-1 defeat against Watford previously.
However, the England international returned to the side for the 4-0 FA Cup success against Hull City on Friday night, and he is in line to come up against Lionel Messi and Co on Tuesday.
Chelsea supporters have been quick to have their say on the possible inclusion of Cahill via social media, and while one said “if Cahill starts tonight there’s basically 100% chance we will lose”, another said “if Cahill starts, I’m not even watching it”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
If Cahill starts tonight there’s basically 100% chance we will lose. Hoping that when Conte said he has to pick players in form he meant that the likes of Cahill and Pedro won’t start #CFC
— ChelseaFan (@JTChelseaFan01) February 20, 2018
If our starting XI today includes either Cahill or Bakayoko, or worst case both, we lose 3-0 minimum.
— Jonny Bling (@_JonnyBlingg) February 20, 2018
Don't do it conte,don't try it man,check the stats bro,dnt start Cahill @ChelseaFC
— Chuks (@chuks_andy) February 20, 2018
I hope Conte don’t start Cahill and Bakayoko tonight 🙏🏿🙏🏿
— kakukutu (@k_the_tycoon) February 20, 2018
I mean I sat in class today, unable to concentrate. The whole time wondering what would be the @ChelseaFC starting lineup. Big games, this is why we support Chelsea. PLEASE DO NOT START GARY CAHILL.
— CFC (@Kantesential) February 20, 2018
Please Conte don’t start Garry Cahill tonight😩
— Licence (@SamLicence) February 20, 2018
If Cahill start for Chelsea today its already over.
— KJ's Dad (@Kemz_JA) February 20, 2018
If Cahill doesn’t start, I have faith. If Cahill starts, I’m not even watching it 😂
— James Turner (@jjturner91) February 20, 2018
And Cahill doesn't start https://t.co/g5rgacARPo
— Pakinamac (@KRS_313) February 20, 2018
I'll accept defeat at 6:45 if Cahill starts.
— Al Capone (@BeIgianMaestro) February 20, 2018