The return of club legend Xavier Hernandez has brightened the mood at Camp Nou, but their real test starts when they take on Portuguese giants Benfica in their UEFA Champions League 2021-22, Group E match. (More Football News)
Barcelona are third in the group with two wins from four outings and Benfica can leapfrog the Catalans into the second spot with a win tonight. Bayern Munich have already qualified for the last 16 with four wins in four, and now the fight for the second spot is on between Barcelona and Benfica. Ukrainian Dynamo Kyiv are already out of the last 16 fight after losing their first four games.
Here are the starting XIs:
Barcelona (3-3-1-3): Ter Stegen; Araujo, Pique, Lenglet; Nico, Busquets, De Jong; Gavi; Demir, Memphis, Alba.
Subs: Neto (GK), Pena (GK), Umtiti, Garcia, Mingueza, Dest, Balde, Puig, Coutinho, Dembele, L. De Jong.
Benfica (3-4-3): Vlachodimos; Almeida, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Gilberto, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo; Silva, Yaremchuk, Everton.
U: Svilar (GK), Leite (GK), Nunez, Meite, Seferovic, Pizzi, Lazaro, Taarabt, Gedson, Ramos, Morato, Ferro.
In their previous meeting, Benfica hammered a crisis-laden Barcelona 3-0. But Barcelona will hope to produce a much-improved show at home. Xavi’s reign started with a morale-boosting 1-0 win over local rivals Espanyol. But Barcelona will enter the match knowing well enough that anything less than a win spell trouble.
There is a distinct possibility of Barcelona failing to make the knock-outs of the world's greatest club tournament. And in Jorge Jesus, Xavi will face a seasoned rival.
Match and telecast details
Match: 2021-22 UEFA Champions League, Group E, match between Barcelona and Benfica.
Date And Time: 1.30 AM IST (November 24, Wednesday); 21:00 PM CET local (November 23, Tuesday); 20.00 PM GMT (November 23, Tuesday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
TV Channels: Sony Sports Network in India; Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain); BT Sport Ultimate, BT Sport ESPN in UK.
Live Streaming: JioTV, SonyLIV in India; Movistar+ (Spain); BT Sport Live (UK).
Check global kick-off time HERE.
Barcelona: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Araujo, Pique, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, de Jong; Demir, Depay, Coutinho.
Benfica: Vlachodimos; Otamendi, Morato, Vertonghen; Gilberto, Weigl, Pizzi, Grimaldo; Nunez, Yeremchuk; Rafa