Claudio Ranieri has backed former club Chelsea to prevail their eagerly-anticipated UEFA Champions League showdown with Barcelona.

The Italian coach, now in charge at Valencia following his departure last summer from Chelsea, believes Chelsea have the team to overcome the Spanish league leaders.

“I think Chelsea are best because there is a very good balance between defence, midfield and the strikers,” he said.

“Barca are fantastic and play well, but they are not so strong and compact like Chelsea.

“They (Barcelona) are very strong when they have the ball, they like to move the ball and keep possession, but they leave a lot of space for counter-attacks and Chelsea are amazing at counter-attacks.

“I think it will be a fantastic match between Barca and Chelsea, but I think Chelsea could win.”