How about it Barcelona fans; can our beloved Blaugrana become the first side in history to retain the UEFA Champions League title? Well, their journey to the final in Milan begins tonight, some 591km of the San Siro to the south-east in the Italian capital of Rome and the Stadio Olimpico against AS Roma. Luis Enrique's side enter the match as favourites -- both on the night, and for the competition as a whole -- but leaving all that aside, this promises to be a tough match, arguably the most difficult of the group stage for the Catalans.
A trip to Rome can be an intimidating, difficult experience for opposing side, particularly on European nights but recent history suggests that Roma are vulnerable at home. Last season, Bayern Munich absolutely trounced them at the Stadio Olimpico, while I was there on the final matchday when Manchester City rose to the occasion to knock the Romans out with a comfortable win in December. Sure, they possess a lot of good talent -- but they often lack cutting edge and against an opposition as prolific as the Blaugrana, that's not a recipe for success.
In the Joan Gamper Trophy, they were roundly outplayed and and absolutely dominated by the fabled "MSN" triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. Roma will be keen to demonstrate that they have learned and matured after that night, but an early goal could knock their confidence. Will Barcelona be able to get off to a winning start? Predict the score of tonight's match by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!