Barcelona accepts Roma in the first quarterfinals of the Champions League and will try to solve everything around the final winner at Camp Nou. The Catalans are a step away from the title in La Liga, they are also in the final for the King’s Cup and have real chances to finish the season with a treble. They can definitely be happy with the draw, but Roma is not an understatement team and showed it in the group stage, finishing first in the company of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. Then the “wolves” dealt with Shakhtar (Donetsk) to catch up with their best achievement since the creation of the Shl.
Barca is the 1/4-final for the 11th consecutive time, which is a record in the tournament. In three of the last four years, however, the Catalans have dropped out at this stage. Roma, for the last time, was among the best 8 10 years ago. Both teams met in the groups in the 2015/16 season when Barcelona scored a defeated victory 6: 1. This is the only defeat of the “Jaloros” in their four matches with the Spanish Grand. Barca plays very successfully against Italy’s rivals at home and has no loss in his last 12 Camp Nou games against the A Series. Against Juventus at the 1/4-finals last season, the blaugranas recorded their first loss of an Italian opponent in 10 games. Then the Catalans retreated 0: 3 in Turin, but this season they took the same result in the group stage. In general, Barcelona has no home defeat in the Champions League since September 2013.
Roma last met a Spanish team in the European tournament elimination phase last season, eliminating Villarreal in the Europa League with a total score of 4: 1. Against opponents from Spain, the balance of the “wolves” as a guest is 4 wins, 3 draws and 8 losses. Prior to the Karabakh success with 1: 0 in the groups, Roma did not win the tournament in 7 consecutive games. Barça mentor Ernesto Valverde did not bet on his best time at Seville’s weekend visit, but after entering Lionel Messi, the team turned the score from 0: 2 to 2: 2 and escaped first defeat in the league. The Argentine genius scored in each of the last seven Catalonian battles. He has a total of 100 goals in the Champions League and 12 in 19 matches against Italian teams.
Messi and Luis Suarez will lead the Barcelona attack tonight, and in the middle of the pitch will be missing the injured Sergio Buscakes. His place will be Paulinie, who will partner with Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic. Usman Dembele will also be the champion. Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Jordi Alba will be in defense, and Marc-Andre Stegen will be at the door. Roma has been in excellent shape in recent weeks, but the tie against Bologna (1: 1) was disappointing and did not allow the team to narrow its lag behind the second Napoli. Before the duel of Renato Dal’Ara, Alison kept his door dry in three consecutive games. The Brazilian will have a lot of work tonight and it depends largely on whether the “wolves” will leave with a positive result. The good news for Di Francesco is that Raja Ningolan, who injures Bologna, will be able to play. The same goes for Lorenzo Pellegrini. Young striker Hangji Yunder missed the championship match but will be the Champion of Camp Nou. Roma will rely heavily on One-Cheek’s top score and the defense to withstand Barcelona’s pressure.
Referee of the fight will be the relatively unknown Dutchman Danny McKelly.
Champions League, 1/4-finals:
BARCELONA – ROMA
BARCELONA (4-4-2): Terr Stegen; S. Roberto, Pique, Umutiti, Alba; Dembele, Paulinho, Rakitic, Iniesta; L. Suarez, Messi
Senior coach: E. Valverde
ROMA (4-3-3): Alison; Florentzi, Manollas, Fasio, Kolarov; Pelegrini, De Rossi, Stromotman; Uderder, Jack, Perotti
Senior coach: E. Francesco
JUDGE: Danny McKelly (The Netherlands)
STADIUM: “Camp Nou”