Friday, September 24, 2021

UEFA Champions League: Barcelona vs AS Roma (LIVE UPDATES)

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Spanish giants FC Barcelona will take on Italian powerhouse AS Roma in the quarterfinals of the 2017-2018 UEFA Champions League. The first leg match will be held at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Start Time

The game starts at 7:45 p.m. UTC+1.


Barca appears to be headed to win the Spanish top-flight title this year as the team remains on top of the La Liga table with only eight matchdays left in the season. Head coach Ernesto Valverde’s squad is in the Copa del Rey final as well. This Champions League quarterfinal meeting with Roma gives the Blaugrana the chance to win all three major trophies once again.

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The team is coming off a 2-2 draw with Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in La Liga last Saturday. Sevilla scored the first two goals, but Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez forced the tie with one goal each late in the game.

Meanwhile, Barcelona routed Premier League side Chelsea, 3-0, in their Round-of-16 Champions League match last month held also at Nou Camp. Messi scored a brace during the match with forward Ousmane Dembele providing the third goal.

Valverde’s side looks invincible as they head on a collision course with Roma. Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is back to 100 percent after struggling with different injuries in the past weeks while midfielder Sergio Busquets is also expected to be back in the starting lineup.

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The Serie A club is a far third in the Italian top-flight table behind defending champion Juventus and Napoli. They are coming into this game against Barcelona bringing the momentum of a five-game undefeated streak in all competitions.

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I Giallorossi settled for a 1-1 tie with Bologna in a domestic match at the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium also on Saturday. The hosts scored the opening goal in the 18th minute, but Roma striker Edin Dzeko netted the equalizer 14 minutes before full time to save manager Eusebio Di Francesco from a loss.

In their last Champions League match, Roma eliminated Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk with a 1-0 second leg win at Stadio Olimpico. Dzeko also provided the winning goal for La Magica.

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Lorenzo Pellegrini (calf), Rick Karsdorp (knee), and Cengiz Under (hamstring) are out for Di Francesco while midfielder Radja Nainggolan has returned from his biceps injury.

Predicted Lineup

Here is the potential starting XI for both sides via Goal:

Barcelona starting lineup (4-3-3 formation): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Dembele, Messi, Suarez.

Roma starting lineup (4-3-2-1 formation): Alisson; Kolarov, Fazio, Manolas, Florenzi; Strootman, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Perotti, Gerson; Dzeko.

Follow Live Updates below:

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