17th of September 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Five-time Champions League winners Barcelona kick off their campaign in the group stage with a home match against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven at Camp Nou on Tuesday evening. The two teams have met at the same stage of the competition in 1997 and back then they produced two spectacular 2-2 draws. The year before, Barcelona knocked out PSV in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup with a 3-2 away victory to secure qualification after another 2-2 draw at home. The last time PSV Eindhoven won against Barcelona was in 1978, when they defeated the Blaugrana 3-0 in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. The two teams are playing in Group B, alongside Tottenham and Inter Milan.
Barcelona had a perfect season so far, five wins out of five matches in all competitions, with 15 goals scored and four conceded. However, last weekend they had a pretty rough ride at Real Sociedad in LaLiga, they were trailing 1-0 at half time and fought back in the second half with goals from Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. Malcom, Sergi Samper and Denis Suarez are the only injury concerns for head coach Ernesto Valverde ahead of this match and since next Sunday they face Girona in LaLiga, he will most likely choose to field his best eleven against PSV.
PSV Eindhoven return to the Champions League group stage after having missed out on it last season, they had to go through a playoff tie against BATE Borisov to get here. PSV also had an almost perfect season up to this point, they are coming into this match after seven consecutive wins in all competitions. Their only setback was right in the first match of the season as they lost the Dutch Super Cup on penalties against Feyenoord. They have scored no less than 16 goals in their last three matches in all competitions, and last weekend they won 7-0 at Den Haag. Ryan Thomas, Dante Rigo and Maximiliano Romero are all injured and will be unavailable for Tuesday's game.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen - Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba - Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho - Messi, Suarez, Dembele
PSV: Zoet - Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever, Angelino - Rosario, Hendrix - Bergwijn, Pereiro, Lozano - De Jong
My prediction: Barcelona to win 3-1, it should be a spectacular match between two teams who know how to score goals.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Barcelona win - 1.11
Draw - 12.00
PSV win - 26.00
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