? FC Barcelona vs Slavia Praha: Match Preview & Lineups
The Spanish and Czech league winners from last year go head-to-head for the second time in under a month as Barcelona are looking to consolidate their spot at the top of Group F at Camp Nou in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Competition: 2019-20UEFA Champions League
, Matchday 4
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Arthur, Luis Suárez, Jean-Clair Todibo, Moussa Wagué, Junior Firpo (out)
Slavia Prague Outs & Doubts: David Hovorka (out)
Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Time: 7pm CET/WAT (Barcelona), 6pm GMT (UK), 1pm ET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
Following an embarrassing thrash in La Liga that somehow didn’t cost them the lead since Real Madrid are just as inconsistent,
return to action with only their second game at Camp Nou over the last 30 days as they welcome
for a key
A win will see
practically wrap up Group F; however, a loss could increase
the noise surrounding the coach's position.
are confident in getting three points at home after beating
on the road during Matchday 3.
The Spanish champions
have gathered seven points from their three group matches to sit top of the table, while
have only managed to collect a single point from their three fixtures so far.
are going well in Group F, picking up seven points from their three matches. So, just an incredible collapse would prevent them from reaching the round of 16, although a defeat on Tuesday night would certainly open the door as bothInter Milan and Borussia Dortmund
have four points.
still need to go to an impressive Inter on Matchday Six, and therefore Ernesto Valverde will be keen for his team to tie up qualification in their next two matches.
started Group F with a goalless draw at Dortmund before beating Inter and
2-1 in their next two matches.
The Catalan giants
have recently been in impressive form, but they will enter this match off the back of a 3-1 defeat at Levante on Saturday afternoon.
Valverde's side are still top of
with 22 points, but there is no doubt that all is not well at
as the speculation surrounding their manager potentially leaving the club continues to gather pace.
Barca are the overwhelming favorites to triumph on Tuesday night, particularly when considering that they have not lost a home game in
the Champions League
since September 2013. What's more,
the Spanish champions
have won their last five matches against the Czech opposition, scoring 15 times in the process.
It was always going to be difficult for
to challenge for a top-three spot in Group F when considering that they were drawn alongside
, Inter, and Dortmund. Claiming third - and Europa League spot - would be seen as a huge success, but they will need to pick up some big results for what to happen.
The Czech outfit started their group campaign with an impressive 1-1 draw at Inter but have lost their last two matches at home to Dortmund and
, the last of which was a 2-1 defeat on October 23.
This is just the second time that
have been present in the group stages of the Champions League, with their last appearance coming 12 years ago. They did reach the quarter-finals of last season's Europa League, though, and impressed as they exited the competition to eventual winners Chelsea.
will enter this match off the back of an impressive league win. Indeed, the Red and Whites thumped Banik Ostrava 4-0 on Saturday to move 11 points clear at the top of the Czech Liga.
The Prague outfit have drawn their last three matches in Spain and have been beaten on only two of their last six visits, the last of which was a 2-2 draw at Sevilla in the Europa League last season.
How Barcelona could line up against Slavia Prague:
Barcelona will attempt to bounce back from Saturday's surprise 3-1 loss at Levante when they welcome
in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Spanish champions saw their seven-game winning run halted in Valencia, but Ernesto Valverde's side are going well in
the Champions League
Indeed, a total of seven points from three matches has left them top of Group F, meaning that another victory on Tuesday would place them in a very strong position in the section.
ran out 2-1 winners when they traveled to Prague for the reverse match last month, with an own goal from Peter Olayinka deciding the contest.
Most injured players:
Out: Luis Suarez (calf)
Doubtful: Samuel Umtiti (knee)
Barca will be without the services of Luis Suarez after the Uruguay international picked up a calf injury during Saturday's clash with Levante, which forced the center-forward off the field before the break.
Ansu Fati and Carles Perez are both candidates to replace Suarez in the attack, although Ousmane Dembele could also make the XI having been left out altogether against Levante.
Elsewhere, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba should both return having been named on the bench at the weekend, but an ongoing knee problem is once again expected to rule Samuel Umtiti out.
Arturo Vidal started against Levante but is expected to be replaced for this match, while Ivan Rakitic is desperately out of favor and is unlikely to be handed a starting role.
Antoine Griezmann is also struggling to find his best form for the Catalan giants, but the Frenchman should keep his spot in the final third alongside Lionel Messi, who finally appears to be over his injury troubles.
For Slavia, central defender David Hovorka remains a long-term absentee due to a knee injury, but Ibrahim Traore could feature for the first time in
the Champions League
since the clash with Inter after recovering from an ankle problem.
Peter Olayinka is expected to feature in the final third alongside Lukas Masopust, with Tomas Soucek, who scored twice in the win over Banik Ostrava, lining up in a deeper position.
Possible starting lineups:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Dembele, Messi, Griezmann
Slavia Prague XI:
Kolar; Coufal, Kudela, Frydrych, Boril; Zeleny, Soucek, Sevcik; Stanciu; Masopust, Olayinka
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