FC Barcelona seeks winning start

FC Barcelona seeks winning start

FC Barcelona is looking to have a strong start against Royal Antwerp for their first match of the season, for a better finish in the contest. Barcelona is one of the teams considered to be a veteran when it comes to the Champions League. In fact, they already had 33 qualifications in the contest, prior to this season, making it their 34th. Additionally, from those appearances, Barcelona were able to win five Champions League titles. As for Antwerp, this is the first time in almost seven decades they qualify for the Champions League against. With that, this is just the second time that Antwerp qualified in the contest, and they are hoping to grab this opportunity. These two teams will meet on September 20, 2023, at 3:00 AM (GMT+8).

FC Barcelona

Champions League: FC Barcelona
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Barcelona is set to play in the 20th consecutive season of the Champions League, marking their first appearance in the group stage. They secured their place through the playoffs, defeating AEK Athens 3-1 on aggregate. Following the international break, they resumed their La Liga campaign with a 5-0 home win over Real Betis. Barcelona has an unbeaten start to their league campaign, winning four of their five games thus far. At home, they have a 100% record, winning two games with an aggregate score of 7-0. However, they have only secured two wins in their last eight Champions League outings, suffering four defeats. The Blaugrana have won four games in a row, scoring 13 goals and conceding four times. Xavi is expected to be absent, while Ronald Araujo is likely to be benched. Barcelona’s squad depth will be crucial in this match.

Ronald Araujo and Pedri remains to be unavailable for Barcelona due to their injury. However, Ilkay Gundogan will likely to participate here, as he already played on their previous match. Moreover, Fermin Lopez is returning in this match, as he already served his suspension during the weekend.

Royal Antwerp

Champions League: Royal Antwerp
Photo courtesy of photonews

Antwerp, a Belgian club, will compete in the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history. The Reds won their fifth Belgian First Division title last season, their first since 1957, to qualify for the Champions League playoff round. They advanced to the group stage after defeating AEK Athens in both home and away games. Antwerp entered the match after a 3-0 victory over Westerlo in the league. They are currently fifth in their domestic division, three points behind leaders Anderlecht. The Reds’ recent progress in the Champions League group stage, having been beaten in the Europa Conference League playoff round, demonstrates their remarkable progress in a short time. Tuesday’s match will be historic for all involved with the club.

Ortwin De Wolf, Davino Verhulst, Bjorn Engles, Sam Vines, and Kobe Corbanie are all unavailable because of their injuries.

Prediction:

FC Barcelona (2.5)
Odds: -0.88

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