FC Barcelona vs Olympique Lyonnais
Competition/Round: 2018-19 Champions League, Round of 16, Second Leg
First Leg Result: Lyon 0-0 Barcelona
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Rafinha, Thomas Vermaelen, Jean-Clair Todibo (out), Ousmane Dembélé (doubt)
Lyon Outs & Doubts: Amine Gouiri (out), Marcelo (doubt)
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
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
Following a routine league win against Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona arrive at what is right now the most important game of the season: the Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Lyon. After a very entertaining (for neutrals) 0-0 draw in France, the tie is wide open going into the Camp Nou match, and Barça will need a complete performance to win this one.
They really do need to win this one, because another 0-0 takes it to extra time and any scored draw gives Lyon the edge, so the Blaugrana must score at least twice to make sure they’ll go through. But they also need to make sure they don’t concede, so controlling Lyon’s counter attacks while still playing an attacking style is a tough but necessary balance to accomplish on Wednesday night.
Nabil Fekir is back from suspension for Lyon, and if Lyon were already dangerous at home in the first leg they should be even more capable of wreaking havoc with their superstar midfielder on the pitch. Fekir, Memphis Depay and the midfield duo of Tanguy Ndombele and Houssem Aouar are the four biggest threats on this Lyon side, and if they have a good night Barça will be in trouble.
This will no doubt be an extremely tough game for the home team, and if Ousmane Dembélé isn’t able to start then Philippe Coutinho will need to step up in a big way to silence his critics and help Barça move on. From a good coaching night by Ernesto Valverde to a great playing night from the eleven men on the pitch, this needs to be a very strong performance from Barça. Lyon are really good, and Barça need to be every bit as good as them. If not, this could be a sad night.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
Lyon (4-2-3-1): Lopes; Dubois, Denayer, Marcelo, Mendy; Tousart, Ndombele; Cornet, Fekir, Aouar; Depay
This will be very tough and very nervous until the end, but I trust my team: 2-1 Barça.