Roma vs Barcelona – UEFA Champions League – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

Barcelona travel to the capital of Italy to face Roma in their opening fixture of Group E in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League on 16th September, Wednesday. The current European champions will start their campaign with a difficult away fixture as they come up against a Roma side which has made a strong start to the domestic season.

Team News

Miralem Pjanic joined Kevin Strootman on the sidelines, after the Bosnia-Herzegovina international was injured during international break. Radja Nainggolan is expected to return to the starting line-up in place of Seydou Keita.

Thomas Vermalaen, Claudio Bravo and Dani Alves are the absentees through injury for Barcelona. Gerard Pique, serving a lengthy suspension in the La Liga, will return to the matchday squad.

Roma Possible Starting Lineup: Wojciech Szcezsny, Alessandro Florenzi, Antonio Rudiger, Kostas Manolas, Lucas Digne, Radja Nainggolan, Gervinho, Iago Falque, Mohammad Salah, Edin Dzeko.

Barcelona Possible Starting Lineup: Marc Andre-Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar.

Thoughts From Both Managers

“We’ll play with humility and ambition; we want to qualify, and this is the first of six games, in which we will always do our best to get points.

We will have to play as a team, in defence and attack. We will give it everything and work for each other, and use the ball properly when we attack.”

– Rudi Garcia, Roma.

“I expect a Roma side like the one I saw in Serie A against Juventus: a strong team that knows how to press, knows how to play the ball and has players of great quality, able to create dangerous situations at any time.

The most important thing is that we make a winning start to this UEFA Champions League season.”

– Luis Enrique, Barcelona.

Contributor’s Pick

Barcelona have won ten of their last eleven matches in the UEFA Champions League, while Roma have failed to win any of their last five games in Europe’s premier competition (including qualifiers). Roma will be eager to assert their new-discovered exuberance in Europe. According to Head-2-Head statistics, Roma have won 33% of its encounters with Barcelona till date. The Serie A club should put up a tough fight against the reigning La Liga champions, but it would be difficult to contain the exquisite talents present in the Barcelona squad. The Catalan club should comfortably win the match, with 3-1 as the most probable scoreline.

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