Barcelona fresh from their 4-0 thumping of arch rival Real on home front is scheduled to take on the Italian giants Roma at the Camp Nou on the European front on 25th Nov. Having opened up a 6 point lead in the Primera league they have also maintained their rich vein of form in the Champion’s league as well winning on all the 3 occasions and succumbing to a lone draw when a Florenzi screamer simply stunned them at the Stadio Olimpico. Both the teams are destined to qualify to the next phase from the group E as Roma looking to consolidate the second position behind Barca in order to qualify.
Barcelona vs Roma Match Preview
Roma Current Form and Performance so far
Roma’s form this season can be best described as moderate. This is pretty much evident from their last 5 encounters as well. This fact has also been echoed by Rudi Garcia who clearly said that it is practically impossible for Roma to lift the Scudetto this season given their current form.
They have won big against Udinese at home lost to Inter on the road, once again pumped in two goals past Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico before a depleted Roma strike line devoid of Mohammed Salah, Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Gervinho held on to a 2-2 draw at Bologna with Pjanic and Dzeko getting onto the score sheet from the spot following their international duties.
In between their Serie A assignments they have been involved into two goal fests with Leverkusen one ending in a scintillating 4-4 draw and coming out on top in the return leg at home.
Barcelona Current Form and Performance so far
Luis Enrique on the other hand is currently a much envied coach and is clearly poised to repeat his debut seasons feat of another treble. Crushing Real at the Bernebau is always a challenging task but the relatively easy way that was done is sure to give nightmares to any coach with the prospect of facing them.
Return of Messi, Neymar coming out of Messi’s shadow finally this season, Suarez’s brace against Madrid have all summed up into opening up a 6 point lead in the race to the 24th La Liga title. They have virtually crushed every team they have faced following their shock defeat to Sevilla turning each match into more or less a goal fest.
In the Champion’s league also they have won each and every match apart from a draw at the Olimpico Stadio and with all fairness Roma will have their task cut out in order to avoid a defeat at Nou Camp.
Roma Injury News
Garcia is really having problems with his attackers. Gervinho who has been instrumental this season both on the domestic as well as on the European front is arguably their best player till now after Pjanic. With both Gervinho and Salah out of the crucial tie Garcia will have to rely on Iturbe, Dzeko and Florenzi to minimize the pressure on a leaky defense which is bound to get under pressure from the MSN in the absence of the talismanic Totti, out with injury as well. De Rossi is poised to make a comeback but it will be interesting to see whether Garcia risks his skipper or rests him keeping in mind the knockout stages.
AS Roma Probable Starting XI
Possible formation: 4-2-3-1 formation
Possible lineup: Szczesny; Maicon Manolas, Rudiger, Digne; Pjanic, Keita, Nainggolan; Florenzi, Dzeko, Iturbe
Barcelona Injury News
With both Messi and Rakitic back from their injuries and match harded by the El Classico Luis Enrique frankly speaking doesn’t have any real injury concern apart from Rafinha and Douglas. It will however be interesting to see if Enrique chooses to test his reserve bench with qualification to the knockout phases almost confirmed and start with Sergi Roberto once more with Messi being on the reserve bench. Early substitution of Mascherano in the Classico due to groin injury is also a case to watch out for which once again might give Mathieu a place in the starting eleven.
FC Barcelona Probable Starting XI
Possible formation: 4-3-3 formation
Possible lineup: Bravo, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Mascherano, Rakitic, Iniesta, Neymar, Messi, Suarez
As said and done it will certainly take a Herculean effort for Roma to pull off even a draw at Camp Nuo against their former coach which can well be Lionel Messi’s 100th Champion’s League game and if Enrique chooses not to rest him, Roma might just be a simple stepping stone to Barca’s 6th UCL title especially keeping in mind how the Catalans just pumped four goals past Real at their home ground and that too with ease.