Champions League: Barcelona vs Roma – Lineups, Preview and PredictionApril 4, 2018
LaLiga leaders Barcelona play host to Serie A outfit AS Roma in their Champions league Quarter-Final first leg tie on Wednesday night with both sides heading to the Camp Nou in great form.
19:45 BST, WEDNESDAY 4TH APRIL, CAMP NOU (BARCELONA, SPAIN), BT SPORT
Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona head into the clash having only lost once all season and currently boast a nine-point gap over second place Atletico Madrid at the top of Laliga.
They have impressed in Europe so far, overcoming Chelsea after a tense score draw at Stamford Bridge before putting on a display in the reverse leg and coming out 3-0 winners.
While Roma have bounced back since their disappointing win-less streak back in January with a five match unbeaten streak.
I Giallorossi dispatched Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk on their route to the quarter-finals although they now face a tough challenge if they are to progress further.
A full strength squad is expected to be available for Valverde especially after Sergio Busquets returned to training.
Full-back Nelson Semedo made the bench against Sevilla last week following his hamstring injury although a first team start may be too early.
Sergi Roberto is set to keep his place in defence alongside Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba.
With the return of Busquets in the centre of midfield, his favoured partner in the middle will be Paulinho. while Andres Iniesta starts on the left and Ousmane Dembele likely to play on the right.
The visitors have two players out of contention, both Cengiz Under and right-back Rick Karsdorp are sidelined through injury.
Although head coach Eusebio Di Francesco will take fortune as Radja Nainggolan and Lorenzo Pellegrini passed late fitness tests.
Wingers Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti are expected to start on either flanks with former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko up top.
Barcelona : Marc Andre Ter Stegen;Roberto, Umtiti, Pique, Jordi Alba; Dembele, Sergio Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta; Suarez, Messi
Roma : Alisson ; Florenzi, Fazio, Manolas, Kolarov; Strootman, Daniele De Rossi, Nainggolan; El Shaarawy, Dzeko, Perotti
PREDICTION: BARCELONA 3-0 AS ROMA
Luis Suarez to continue his goal-scoring streak of five in his last five with a brace. I expect Barcelona’s back four to be too strong for Roma and an away goal to be a step too far.