UEFA Champions League: AS Roma vs Barcelona preview


Barcelona have a solid advantage to defend as they travel to the Italian capital to face AS Roma at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals tie. The Blaugrana won the first leg 4-1 last week as Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez scored in addition to two own goals from Roma. However, Edin Dzeko scored what could be a very important away goal for the Serie A side. Barcelona have never managed to beat Roma on Italian soil, and in 2002 it was Roma who secured a 3-0 victory.

Roma seemed to have a good string of form going on until the international break came and disrupted their results. As soon as the players returned from international duty, Roma had a 1-1 Serie A draw against Bologna, then got hammered 4-1 at Barcelona and last weekend they lost 2-0 at home to Fiorentina. That said, they are still a team that has enough quality players to bother even the best sides in the world, but with this kind of form a fightback against Barcelona would be a miracle. Rick Karsdrop and Radja Nainggolan remain injury doubts for the home side.

Barcelona are going full speed ahead at the moment, the LaLiga title is getting closer and closer and a place in the Champions League final four also seems up for grabs. Last weekend the Blaugrana defeated Leganes 3-1 in LaLiga thanks to a hat-trick from Lionel Messi and increased their advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid to eleven points with seven matches left until the end of the season. Sergi Samper, Lucas Digne and Sergio Busquets are injury concerns for Barcelona, while Sergi Roberto is one yellow card away from suspension and might sit this one out.

Probable line-ups:

Roma: Alisson - Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov - Pellegrini, De Rossi, Strootman - Under, Dzeko, Perotti

Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba - Roberto, Paulinho, Rakitic, Iniesta - Suarez, Messi

My prediction: Barcelona to win 3-1.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Roma win - 4.50
Draw - 4.50
Barcelona win - 1.61

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