Barcelona look to capitalise on home advantage against Roma

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SEVILLE, SPAIN - MARCH 31: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona (L) competes for the ball with Clement Lenglet of Sevilla FC (R) during the La Liga match between Sevilla CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on March 31, 2018 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Barcelona look to capitalise on home advantage against Roma

Barcelona host Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday night. One of the marquee matches of the quarter-finals, this will surely be an uphill fight for Roma in this first leg.

Form

Barcelona are in lightning form this season. Topping La Liga with an 11 point lead and a goal difference of 61. The Catalan giants ripped Chelsea apart at the Camp Nou, beating them by 3 goals with Messi leading the charge. In their most recent bouts, they have beaten Athletic Bilbao giving them good momentum, but a  shock draw against Sevilla could hit their confidence going into this match.

Roma have been very inconsistent this season, as they have lost some easily winnable games. Although Roma have been picking up form recently having been unbeaten in their last 5 matches. The Italian side barely pulled through the round of 16, getting a clutch 1-0 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk. Roma’s most recent match going into this fixture was a 1-1 draw against Bologna, so ther is similar momentum for both sides going into this bout.

Team News

The Catalan giants have two concurrent injuries in Lucas Digne and Sergio Busquets. The French fullback, Digne, has been out with a hamstring injury since March 18th and is expected to return mid-April. This injury will probably not hinder Barcelona’s lineup as they usually start with Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto at fullback. On the other hand, Sergio Busquets has been out with a foot injury since March 15th and will be expected to return right before this fixture. He will most likely be on the bench if he has not fully recovered by Wednesday.

Roma also have two injuries at the moment, with Rick Karsdorp and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Karsdorp has been out with a Cruciate Ligament rupture since October and is expected to return late April. Since Karsdorp has been out for so long, this injury will not affect Roma’s current team. Pellegrini is only having minor calf problems but will still likely miss this match.

Predicted Lineups

Barcelona: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Andres Iniesta, Paulinho, Phillipe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Roma AS: Alisson Becker, Aleksandar Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alessandro Florenzi, Kevin Strootman, Danielle De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan, Diego Perotti, Cengiz Under and Edin Dzeko.

Talking Points

Invincible Barcelona

Barcelona have been untouchable, having not lost a single match this season. Roma are very unlikely to beat them as sides such as Real Madrid have failed to thwart them. Although in the past 2 months Barcelona have been notorious for drawing games against smaller sides. It would be ideal for Roma to get the draw as a win looks unlikely considering the form Barcelona is in.

Will Roma turn up?

As previously mentioned, Roma are very inconsistent. However, when they do turn up, they set the goal on fire, as they smashed 4 goals past Napoli in their most recent big match. However, scoring goals may not be their top priority against Barcelona, as outscoring them is near impossible these days.

Predicted Result

The Extratime Talk writers have predicted a 6-3 Barcelona win over both legs, winning 4-1 in the first leg. Both teams will score, but Barcelona will massively outscore Roma.

 

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