FC Barcelona vs PSV Eindhoven
Competition/Round: 2018-19 UEFA Champions League Group B, Matchday 1
Barcelona Outs and Doubts: Malcom, Denis Suarez, Thomas Vermaelen, Sergi Samper, Carles Aleñá (out)
PSV Outs and Doubts: Maximiliano Romero, Dante Rigo, Ryan Thomas (out)
Date/Time: Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 6.55pm CET (Barcelona), 5.55pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 12.55pm ET, 9.55am PT (USA), 10.25pm IST (India)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Tasos Sidiropoulos (GRE)
How to watch on TV: TNT (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK), SuperSport 5 (Nigeria), Sony TEN 2 (India), others
How to stream: B/R Live (USA), BT Sport Live (UK), others
The Champions League is here!!! Barcelona start a new European journey with renewed hopes after a summer of strong investment and the very interesting transfer moves around Spain and Europe that seem to have made the European Cup wide open for this season.
On Tuesday, the champions of Spain start the group stage against the champions of the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven. The Dutch are definitely not the favorites in a group with Barça, Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur, but they are more than capable of beating any of them, anywhere. Hirving Lozano is the most exciting player on this side, but the entire team is really good. They’ve won their last two Eredivisie games by a combined score of 13-1, which means their attack is more than good enough to cause Barça plenty of problems.
But the Blaugrana are obviously favorites to win the game, especially at Camp Nou where they’ve not lost for 26 games, winning 24 of them. Philippe Coutinho will finally make his Champions League debut for Barça, and the Brazilian might just be the missing ingredient as the Catalans look to conquer Europe again. We start to find out if that’s true on Tuesday night.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé
PSV (4-3-3): Zoet; Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever, Angeliño; Rosario, Pereiro, Hendrix; Lozano, De Jong, Bergwijn
Anyone expecting this to be easy is sadly mistaken. Barça will have to work hard and play well, but we’re just too strong at home in the Champions League: 3-1 to the good guys.