Barcelona v Lyon – Camp Nou at 20:00 GMT

Spanish champions Barcelona will be aiming to secure their place in the Champions League quarter-finals when they welcome Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais to Camp Nou in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday.  The result of the first leg fixture didn’t go exactly as planned when the scores ended in a 0-0 deadlock.

Barcelona will enter this match fresh off the back of a 3-1 victory against Rayo Vallecano over the weekend. This win came after their upsetting 0-1 loss to Girona in the Supercopa de Catalunya. This defeat won’t stop them from coming into this game in high spirits though.

The Barcas and Lionel Messi have made it their quest to retrieve the trophy they last raised in 2015, with El Clasico rivals Real Madrid winning the competition for the previous three seasons. With Real Madrid in poor form and out of the competition, this is the perfect opportunity for Ernesto Valverde and his men to reclaim the throne as European football’s top team.

Lyon, on the other hand, shocked everyone when they put up a solid fight in the first leg. However, holding a Lionel Messi-led team at home and overpowering them in front of their supporters are two different matters.

To make things worse, they recently dropped points when they shared a draw with Strasbourg. This result recorded a tally of three victories, two draws, and two defeats from their previous seven competitive fixtures. It’s also important to note that three of these four slip-ups were matches on the road.

LATEST NEWS

–          Thomas Vermaelen and Rafinha are ruled out for Barcelona due to respective calf and ACL injuries.

–          Ousmane Dembele remains a doubt for the Barcas after acquiring a hamstring strain during their fixture against Rayo Vallecano.

–          Lyon captain Marcelo is also a doubt after picking up a leg injury.

PROBABLE FORMATION & STARTING XI

Barcelona: 4-4-2

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez

Lyon: 4-2-3-1

Anthony Lopes, Leo Dubois, Marcelo, Jason Denayer, Ferland Mendy, Ndombele, Houssem Aouar,Bertrand Traore, Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir, Moussa Dembele

KEY PLAYERS

Barcelona

Lionel Messi currently dominates the world of European football. He has become one of the best and the most important player for Barcelona. He has been involved in almost every crucial fixture for the La Blaugrana. His goal in the victory against Rayo Vallecano was actually his 34th goal of the season.

Luis Suarez has been one of the key players of Barcelona, especially in crucial fixtures. This Uruguayan striker already managed to notch 20 times and contributed 9 assists as well. He is also involved in the many victories the Barcas acquired this season.

Lyon

Nabil Fekir is Lyon’s talisman and has scored a total of 12 goals so far this season. He also contributed seven assists for the team. Expect this striker to give his all and help Lyon secure a spot in the quarter-finals, especially since he missed out on the first leg due to suspension.

Moussa Dembele is Lyon’s top scorer so far this season. He holds a record of 15 goals as well as five assists.

MATCH PREDICTION

Barcelona v Lyon: 2-1

A Barcelona victory seems to be on the cards. Their home advantage should be one of the keys in order for them to achieve victory. Furthermore, the La Blaugranas are the heavy favourites to win this match. However, Lyon aren’t pushovers and won’t let their opponents come out successful without putting up a solid fight.

MATCH BETTING ODDS

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

By @EliaasMJ

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