Barcelona take on Slavia Praha in the Champions League Group F game at Sinobo Stadium aiming to strengthen their position in what is a group of death.
The five-time champions had to dig deep for all three points in the last game after Argentine forward Lautario Martinez put Inter Milan ahead in the game at Camp Nou three weeks ago. The scoreline remained 0-1 in favour of the Italian giant at the break, and Barca were 3rd in the group at that moment, trailing both Borussia Dortmund and Inter by three points.
But Luiz Suarez scored twice, one decorated with a deft touch and another a humongous volley from the edge of the box as the Catalan giants secured all three points, much to the delight of manager Ernesto Valverde and the home fans. Now Barca are 2nd on the table but could take the first spot considering both Dortmund and Inter will be playing against each other in the next two games.
Slavia Praha, meanwhile have always their backs against the wall as soon as they were paired alongside Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan.
That said, the Czech club has made itself proud. They played a 1-1 draw against Inter Milan at the iconic San Siro Stadium in matchday week-1, while the 0-2 defeat against Borussia Dortmund was too harsh on them considering they ran the German ragged for the most part of the game.
But that’s the reality of the top level, you are punished if you don’t take your chances.
The Champions League match will be played between Slavia Praha and Barcelona at Sinobo Stadium, in Prague-Vršovice, Czech Republic. The ground has a capacity of 21,000.
The game will start at 12:30 AM (IST), on Thursday, October 24.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Slavia Praha – W W W L W W
Barcelona – L W W W W W
Slavia Praha Team News:
The hosts have a couple of injury issues ahead of the game against Barcelona.
Ibrahim Benjamin Traoré remains out due to a foot injury, while Slavia have listed David Hovorka and Laco Takács as doubtful for this game. The former missed the 3-1 win over Pribram at the weekend, with Takács remaining an unused substitute.
Jindřich Trpišovský rang in a couple of changes to his side for the domestic game against Pribram. He won’t be satisfied though, despite his team winning the game 3-1. Praha lacked the usual energy, especially in the middle.
But expect improvement from the hosts as senior players like Nicolae Stanciu and Vladimir Coufal, who were rested at the weekend, will definitely start this game.
Slavia Praha Probable XI:
Kolář (GK), Coufal, Kúdela, Frydrych, Bořil; Masopust, Ševčík, Souček, Stanciu, Olayinka, Tecl
Barcelona FC Team News:
Samuel Umtiti and Sergi Roberto are missing due to injury while Carles Aleñá and Carles Pérez failed to make the cut.
Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Piqué, I. Rakitic, Sergio, Todibo, Neto, Lenglet, M. Wague, Griezmann, Jordi Alba, Arthur, Suárez, Messi, O. Dembélé, F. De Jong, Vidal, Junior, Iñaki Peña, Ansu Fati
Barcelona Probable XI:
Ter Stegen (GK), Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, De Jong, Busquets, Arthur, Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
BAR vs SLPG Dream11 potential winner:
Barcelona should at least get a draw here.