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Lyon vs Barcelona, Champions League (1st leg): Team News, Match Preview

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The Champions League returns and Barça face a very tough challenge to start the knockout rounds

PSV v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Olympique Lyonnais vs FC Barcelona


Competition/Round: 2018-19 Champions League, Round of 16, First Leg

Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Arthur, Thomas Vermaelen, Jasper Cillessen, Rafinha, Jean-Clair Todibo, Sergi Samper (out)

Lyon Outs & Doubts: Nabil Fekir, Amine Gouiri (out), Jason Denayer, Tanguy Ndombele (doubt)

Date/Time: Tuesday, February, 19, 2019, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Wednesday)

Venue: Groupama Stadium, Lyon, France

Referee: Cüneyt Çakir (TUR)

How to watch on TV: UniMás (USA), BT Sport 3 (UK), Canal+ Sport 1 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 1 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others

How to stream: B/R Live (USA), BT Sport Live (UK), Movistar+ (Spain), others


Ladies and gentlemen, the Champions League is back! After more than two months watching domestic football, it’s time for us to see our favorite team play in Europe again. And Barcelona do not have an easy draw for the Round of 16: they’ll face Lyon, and the first leg is in France, where we should expect anything but a comfortable game.

If you don’t follow Ligue 1, it’s OK. Not a lot of people do, but thinking that Ligue 1 is just PSG and that Lyon aren’t that good is a rookie mistake. This is a VERY good team that beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in England this season and are especially difficult to beat at home. They have talent, pace, and a crazy awesome home crowd, and they’re loving the opportunity of facing Barça. They will be missing their talisman and best player Nabil Fekir through suspension, but Memphis Depay will most definitely relish the chance to be the focal point of the attack and lead his team to a famous result.

Ernesto Valverde’s boys need to put on a really good performance, which hasn’t happened a lot lately. The good news is Barça’s best games this season all came in the Champions, all away from home. Winning the European Cup is without a doubt Barça’s number one and number two priority this season, and they’ll be as focused as ever on Tuesday night.

Can they get a win? They have Lionel Messi, so everything is possible. But the whole team needs to perform, and they need to respect Lyon’s quality. Whatever happens, I am sure of one thing: this will be a great game of football.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé

Lyon (4-4-1-1): Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy; Cornet, Ndombele, Tousart, Aouar; Depay; Dembélé


PREDICTION

I don’t see us winning this one, but I see us getting a really good result with multiple away goals: 2-2 draw. Seriously, that’s good.