Luis Enrique will make his UEFA Champions League debut as a coach tonight, as his unbeaten Barcelona take on Cypriot champions APOEL Nicosia at the Camp Nou. With a favourable draw, Barcelona are favourites to top the group and progress to the knockout stages, although it is expected that they will face a few challenges along the way. Just as a trip to Paris to take on Ligue Un champions Paris Saint-Germain will be difficult, this match tonight against APOEL represents a potential banana skin for the Blaugrana.
Evidently, APOEL are not tipped for glory on the continental front this season, but if anything that makes them more dangerous than the likes of PSG -- anything less than a commanding victory will likely be frowned upon by the crowd and picked apart by the media. The margin for error is minimal at best; we need to see a dominant performance, we need to get this year's competition off to a strong start.
Yesterday was a mixed bag for the other Spanish clubs in the tournament: Real Madrid romped to a 5-1 home win against Basel to kick off their title defense, while La Liga champions Atletico Madrid slumped to a shock 3-2 defeat in Greece against Olympiacos. A reminder that shocks can and will happen in the UEFA Champions League.
A professional performance from Barça should be enough to secure victory, and based on the three games we've played under Lucho, that's what we can expect to see tonight. With that in mind, how do you see tonight's match finishing? Predict the score of tonight's UEFA Champions League clash between FC Barcelona and APOEL Nicosia by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!