Daunting trip in store for Roma against Messi's Barcelona

AS Roma will be keen to minimalise damage when it visits Nou Camp for the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal match against Barcelona.

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Sevilla in a La Liga match.   -  AP

AS Roma will be keen to minimalise damage when it visits Nou Camp for the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal match against Barcelona on Wednesday.

Barcelona will be buoyed by the return of one Lionel Messi from injury, as he once again led from the front to pull his team back level from being 2-0 down late against Sevilla on Sunday. The draw ensured the Spanish side's unbeaten run in the La Liga remained intact as it continues to lead the pack by nine points.

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Barca has lost only once in all competitions this season - against Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinal match in January - and remains in contention for a third treble in only the last decade.

Roma, which is placed third on the Serie A points table, will need to keep Messi in check if it is to have any chance in the return leg next Tuesday. Eusebio Di Francesco's side has had a fine Champions League campaign so far and will count on striker Edin Dzeko to provide it with an advantage to take to Rome.

Team news

Messi, despite, a muscle niggle is expected to start against Roma, with Ernesto Valverde also likely to call upon the services of midfielder Sergio Busquets after he recently returned to training from an injury layoff. Record signing Philippe Coutinho remains ineligible for selection. Former Roma defender Lucas Digne is out for three weeks with a thigh injury.

Di Francesco has named injured midfielders Radja Nainggolan and Lorenzo Pellegrini to the travelling squad but Cengiz Under will remain in Rome.

Possible line-ups:

Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele

Roma(4-3-3): Allison Becker; Alessandro Florenzi, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Aleksandar Kolarov; Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman; Stephan El Shaarawy, Edin Dzeko, Diego Perotti


This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides in the Champions League, with each side tasting victory once. Barcelona defeated Roma 6-1 in its last encounter in the group stages of the 2015-16 season
Barcelona is unbeaten in 49 home matches with its last defeat at the Nou Camp coming on September 10 against Alaves
AS Roma has never managed to reach the semifinals in the Champions League era; its only semifinal appearance in the European Cup came in the 1983-84 season
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