Champions League Roma-Barcelona 10 April 2018

Roma-Barcelona  Champions League

Roma-Barcelona Champions League

Barcelona won four to one, a result that was too wide for what was seen on the pitch. Yet the three goals of difference have highlighted very well the merits of one and the other’s faults. With the arrival of Valverde (and the departure of Neymar), Barcelona has changed the style of play this season. The tactic is less unbalanced, in particular last week the coach sent a fairly cautious training on the pitch, with only Messi and Suarez in attack plus Iniesta in midfield. The game is less spectacular. Barcelona is no longer the team that makes opponents head for ninety minutes with steps sometimes ends in themselves, has become much more effective. Defends better, and when he decides to score, there is no opponent to hold.

During this season Barcelona only on three occasions suffered more than one goal (against Celta Vigo, Real Sociedad and Sevilla): two of these matches have tied them, one has won. This makes Rome’s comeback even more difficult. There are seventeen precedents in which those who lost by three goals from the first leg managed to overturn the result on the return, even if only seven of these concern the modern Champions League and ten the old European Cup. The good news is that each of these seventeen comebacks has been played by playing the return match at home.

Roma did not play badly at the Camp Nou, but managed to limit Messi (who scored three goals at Leganes on Saturday) and not to concede too many scoring goals. But throughout the game there was a constant fear of conceding a goal, so much fear that in the end the Roma two goals if made them alone, with De Rossi and Manolas, and one gave him with Gonalons who made a involuntary assist to Suarez for four to one. In the offensive phase, however, Rome has confirmed that it has serious problems in transforming the many opportunities it creates in goals. The same happened between the other Saturday afternoon against Fiorentina, more than twenty shots on goal and three piles hit, no goal. In these conditions, believing in the comeback is really complicated.
The latest news on the formations

Compared to the first leg, the Roma Di Francesco coach has recovered two important players like Nainggolan and Under, but lost Perotti injury. If the Belgian midfielder will certainly be the starting lineup, having already played against Fiorentina on Saturday, in the case of the Turkish offensive, there is more caution to avoid a new fallout. In the last training, Di Francesco tried Schick in the role of a right-wing attacker. A solution already proposed several times in the season and never convincing. In a game where Roma must play everything and play the attack to win three to zero, such a choice is understandable.

The alternative would be to deploy Florenzi in the role of attacking offensive, with Bruno Peres fullback. For the rest, the training will be the type, with the only doubt in midfield between Strootman and Pellegrini. The second is favored for the greater offensive vocation, and because the Dutchman comes from three games in a row and could feel a bit ‘of exhaustion.

On the other side Valverde should re-propose the 4-4-2 already seen in the first leg, substantially with the same formation. The only change could be the inclusion of Paulinho in the role of the right-hand side with Sergi Roberto set back on the line of defenders in place of Semedo. Coutinho can not play in this competition, Dembelè should start again from the bench.

Prediction Roma-Barcelona

Di Francesco said that Roma played great matches in the Champions League at home and that Barcelona away did not get the same return as at the Camp Nou. A speech to load the environment, but if the part inherent to the opponents is also admissible, at the Olimpico his team this year played well only against Chelsea and sometimes against Shakhtar Donetsk. For the rest in the league the best results Roma have made them away, while at home has shown more its limits during maneuver, because it has faced more covered teams. This Barcelona is different from that of the past, will not leave too many spaces to attack, will line up with a 4-4-2 compact to administer the wide advantage gained in the first leg and hit the first ball good with Messi and Suarez.

The probable Roma-Barcelona formations

ROME (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Pellegrini, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Schick, Džeko, El Shaarawy.
BARCELONA (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Paulinho, Busquets, Rakitić, Iniesta; Suárez, Messi.

Prediction of the Day: X2 + OVER 1.5
Odds: 1.31

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