3rd of April 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Catalan giants Barcelona gear up for another big European clash, they host Serie A side AS Roma at Camp Nou on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals tie. The two teams have last met in the group stage of this competition in 2015, Roma held out for a 1-1 draw at home but then got thrashed 6-1 in the reverse fixture. However, when the two sides clashed in the first knockout round in 2002, it was Roma who prevailed with a 3-0 home victory after a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou.
Barcelona had a pretty difficult tie in the previous round as they face reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, but after a 1-1 draw in London the Blaugrana eased to a 3-0 victory at home. Lionel Messi and company are still leading the table in LaLiga, even though last weekend's 2-2 draw at Sevilla allowed second-placed Atletico Madrid to cut their deficit to nine points with eight matches left in the season. Sergio Busquets, Lucas Digne and Sergi Samper are all injury doubts for the home side, but Messi should be ready to play after having recovered from a hamstring issue.
AS Roma had to fight hard in the previous round, they started with a 2-1 defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg but managed to qualify on away goals after a 1-0 victory at home. They have not lost any of their last five matches in all competitions, but last weekend they recorded a disappointing 1-1 draw at Bolonga and that result might cost them the third place in the Serie A table. Radja Nainggolan picked up a knock during that match and might miss out on Wednesday, along with Rick Karsdrop.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba - Dembele, Paulinho, Rakitic, Iniesta - Suarez, Messi
Roma: Alisson - Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov - Pellegrini, De Rossi, Strootman - Under, Dzeko, Perotti
My prediction: Barcelona to win 2-0.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Barcelona win - 1.22
Draw - 7.00
Roma win - 15.00
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