Busquets back for Barca ahead of Roma test

Cheryl Sanders
April 4, 2018

Lionel Messi is capable of making something happen every time he touches the ball, says Roma's Stephen El Shaarawy ahead of a Champions League quarter-final clash with Barcelona.

The winger recalls his memories from Roma, stating "It was the first club that opened its doors for me after spending all my life in Barcelona".

Ronaldo's total is more than the next two players combined - Lionel Messi and Raul have ten each.

Andres Iniesta is expected to start on the left of midfield with Ousmane Dembele is likely to start on the right ahead of Ivan Rakitic, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are nearly certain to lead the line for the Blaugrana.

Ernesto Valverde must now decide whether Busquets is ready to start at the Nou Camp but the midfielder appeared to come through a training session without any problems.


Meanwhile Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti will play in defense and Ter Stegen in goal.

For the visitors, Edin Dzeko is available at 39/10 odds at Unibet.

But perhaps more importantly than the identity of the individuals, Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco will have to give his players the confidence to genuinely believe they can put Barca's defence under pressure.

Further upfront, Kevin Strootman should start alongside Radja Nainggolan and Daniele De Rossi in the midfield three, that will be responsible for keeping the likes of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets as quiet as possible, while also dealing with the energy of Paulinho.

When Barcelona drew Roma in the Champions League quarterfinals back on March 16, many penciled the LaLiga leaders straight through to the semis.


Roma, which is placed third on the Serie A points table, will need to keep Messi in check if it is to have any chance in the return leg next Tuesday.

On Saturday, they came back from 2-0 down to snatch a late 2-2 draw at Sevilla.

The 25-year-old is considered one of the world's best keepers following his impressive form at Roma since arriving from Internacional in 2016.

Realistically, Roma can not expect to keep Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and co scoreless over two full games, and the Italian team would be well advised to avoid falling into the trap of believing that defence is their only priority at Camp Nou for this first leg.

We expect a minimum of three goals in the game, and thus, we are backing over 2.5 goals as our prediction in this market.


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