Despite a slow start to the season it’s been a pretty good campaign for Luis Suarez who has an impressive 25 goals in all competitions for Barcelona, but not a single one in Europe.
The Uruguayan has plundered 22 in 26 La Liga appearances and three in five outings in the Copa del Rey but in the Champions League it’s zero from eight games.
Barcelona have scored 13 goals in eight Champions League games, Lionel Messi has six, Ivan Rakitic, Lucas Digne, Paco Alcacer and Ousmane Dembele all have one and they’ve had three own goals.
Yet Suarez’s last Champions League goal came over a year ago in the 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain when he scored after three minutes to send Barcelona on their way.
Talking of 6-1 wins, Suarez will have fond memories of Roma having scored twice the last time the two sides met at the Camp Nou in November 2015. The striker tapped home the opener and then volleyed home a spectacular second as Barca won 6-1.
He also scored in the earlier fixture at the Stadio Olimpico as the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in their opening game of the group fixtures.
Barcelona could certainly do with him rediscovering his European goalscoring touch, particularly with lingering uncertainty over Lionel Messi’s fitness. The Argentine showed no sign of injury when he came on against Sevilla on Saturday as he helped his team snatch an unlikely late point. However, the fact he was left on the bench was pretty telling.
Messi should start Wednesday’s game and will of course be a huge threat but Barcelona need Suarez to start scoring in Europe if they are to go deeper into the tournament.
He’s in pretty good form too, he has six goals and four assists in his last eight Barcelona appearances and his goal against Sevilla, which went largely unnoticed due to Messi’s heroics, was a great finish as he came flying in at the far post under pressure.
Roma’s Champions League away form offers plenty of reason for optimism too. They conceded two at Shakhtar in the last round, and two at Atletico Madrid, three at Chelsea and even one at minnows Qarabag in the group stages.
Barcelona will need a good result to take to Roma next week and hopefully Suarez can help the club deliver exactly that on Wednesday night.