Barcelona vs Roma : Match preview
While the celebration of a 4-0 triumph at Real Madrid is still fresh, FC Barcelona return to Camp Nou for UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday night. The rivals are AS Roma, and a single point would be sufficient to not only ensure last sixteen, but would also guarantee that they end up on top of Group E and will also be seeded for the second round draw.
The Spanish giants have been in formidable form in recent weeks, winning their last four matches effortlessly, scoring 12 and conceding none at that. Luis Enrique’s squad were at their best on Saturday too as they demolished arch rivals Real Madrid 4-0 at Santiago Bernabeu in the season’s first El Clasico with a double from Luis Suarez, assisted by the goals from Neymar and Iniesta. Enrique, though, has been adamant enough claiming that there is still abundant room for improvement, which could be a fairly frightening statement for their upcoming rivals given their performances lately.
Javier Mascherano took a serious blow in the thigh in a rather brutal clash with James Rodriguez on last Saturday and was effectively replaced by Jeremy Mathieu. He hasn’t joined the training session since and Luis Enrique has decided to have him out of the team “because he is a key player for us and we don’t want to take any risks.” As for Messi, the Barça manager confirmed that the Argentinian is completely fit and needs “playing time in his legs and to charge his batteries.”
At the pre-match press conference this Monday, Luis Enrique confessed that he’ll always nurture a soft spot for Roma having been after a year in charge of the club, but he also insisted that that on Tuesday night all he’ll be thinking about is Barça. “It will be a very different game to the first one” he predicted, pondering over the Barcelona vs Roma clash.