Barcelona favourite to reach 11th Champions League semifinal

Eusebio Di Francesco's side holds the slight advantage of an away goal from the first leg.

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in Barcelona's LaLiga win over Leganes at the weekend and poses the biggest threat to Roma.   -  AP

Barcelona is in a position of strength thanks to its three-goal lead from the first leg. Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas' own-goals and goals from Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez have put the Catalan giant on the brink of reaching its 11th Champions League semifinal.

Roma will count on its leading goal-scorer this season — Edin Dzeko has 19 goals in Serie A (14) and Champions League (5) combined — to score an early goal in Tuesday night's second leg, thereby gain some momentum and use it to its advantage. It, however, has to deal with the threat of a Lionel Messi-led Barcelona attack, which can exploit the spaces Roma leaves behind while committing men forward. Although a different competition, Roma didn't have the ideal preparation for this fixture by losing at home to Fiorentina in Serie A.

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Team news

For Roma, Diego Perotti (calf) and Rick Karsdorp (knee) are out with injuries. Cengiz Under is doubtful for the second leg with a knee injury.

Lucas Digne (hamstring) is the only player who is out injured for visiting Barcelona.

Possible formations and line-ups

Roma (4-3-3): Alisson (GK); Bruno Peres, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Aleksandar Kolarov; Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi, Lorenzo Pellegrini; Alessandro Florenzi, Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy

 

Barcelona (4-4-2): Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK); Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Paulinho; Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi

Stats

  • Roma has not lost any of its four Champions League fixtures at home this season (won three, drawn one)
  • Barcelona hasn't won any of its last six Champions League fixtures away to Italian opposition (drawn four, lost two)
  • Barcelona last qualified for the Champions League semifinals in the 2014-15 season