The Champions league is back, and tonight the Catalan giants from Barcelona take on Olympique Lyon in the first leg of the quarterfinals.
Barcelona has been in poor shape lately. Last weekend they drew versus Atletic Bilbao, and this weekend, against Real Valladolid, Barca looked like a team without motivation during their game, where they only just managed to get a 1-0 win on a penalty goal from Lionel Messi.
So tonight Barca could end up being in serious trouble as they travel to Lyon.
The home team has won 6 of their last 7 games, which includes a very impressive 2-1 victory against Paris Saint-German a couple of weeks ago. If Barca doesn’t step up to the task and play as they did in Rome last season, players like Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembele could easily make thing tough, especially for the Barca defence.
The thing with Barca not playing so well in the early spring has been and tendency throughout the last couple of years. Because, the Catalans always seem to start the season well, but as it goes on, and we get to spring, things have not been going well.
This year, winning the Champions league is Barca’s big goal, and their game tonight is the first big step. But if they play like in the weekend, it could end up being a mess like their knockout against Roma last year.
Nabil Fekir is out with a suspension for the home team, and both Tanguy Ndombele and Jason Denayer are in injury doubts.
Barcelona is missing Thomas Vermaelen and Arthur Melo, but Samuel Umtiti could be back in the lineup after injury.
Lyon: Lopes; Marcal, Marcelo, Denayer; Mendy, Aouar, Ndombele, Tete; Depay, Dembele, Cornet
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Vidal, Rakitic; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi
Score prediction: 1-2