Football: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde identifies ex-Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as Chelsea's biggest threat

Alvaro Morata applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle United.
Alvaro Morata applauds at the end of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle United.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde pinpointed former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as one of the main threats Chelsea pose to his side in the Champions League last 16.

The Catalan side have been pitted against the team they lost to in the 2011-2012 semi-finals, with Chelsea going on to win the tournament for the first and only time.

Valverde, whose side have won five European Cups, acknowledged the difficulty of facing the English champions.

"It's a tough draw for us because of the magnitude of the opposition," he said.

"Chelsea are champions of the Premier League but we're excited about the tie, even though it will be difficult.

"Chelsea are a strong and physical team, with a clear tactical system in place. They take advantage of the physical nature of the Premier League well.

"With the signing of Morata, they've added pace in attack, while (Eden) Hazard is very good between the lines."