Wednesday, 28.09.2016, 20-45 CET, Group stage (Group C)
Venue: Borussia park (46 249 seating capacity)
Weather: Clear 12 degrees (by AccuWeather)
Dominguez since 11/7/2016
Doucoure since 6/6/2016
Borussia bounced back from Wednesday’s defeat 4-0 against Manchester City in Champions league 1st leg, by hammering Werder Bremen 4-1 in the third weekend of Bundesliga. It was all over in the first half when they scored 4 goals and broke Werder defense and game. Raffael and Thorgan Hazard both scored twice, concluding that they are in good form and that they will likely be the most dangerous threat to the Barcelona’s goal. Borussia scored 12 goals at their home ground stadium, while they have conceded just 3. But Barcelona is something different from the other teams in Europe and this time, it will be really hard for Borussia to maintain their defense strong against MSN trio, Messi, Suarez, and Neymar.
What home team needs to do if they want a good result is to try to keep the pressure in the middle and with the quickness of Hazard and Raffael try to do as many counter-attacks during the game. Christoph Kramer and Fabian Johnson are going to be crucial links in this job. Kramer because of his passes to the front court and Johnson because of his ability to break trough on the left side and move the ball upfront. Stindl is the man in front of the box, expecting to create a chance from long shots. Coach, Andre Shubert has no new problems with bans and injuries, long term out Alvaro Domingues is out and doubtful for the match are Swiss striker Josip Drmic and midfielder, Patrick Herrmann.
Borussia is on the hot streak at home ground winning last 10 matches. This is something that encourages fans and home supporters but, as we said Barcelona is something different than Bundesliga, especially because Borussia isn’t good defending their own goal against offensive teams and that is what we have in this case.
Possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Korb, Vestergaard, Jantschke; Traore, Christensen, Kramer, Johnson; Stindl; Hazard, Raffael
Sippel; Shulz, Strobl, Wendt, Hofmann, Hahn, Dahoud, Drmic.
Many thought that Barcelona is not the same team as previous few years after Alaves shocked them at Camp Nou. Couple days later, every one of them was brutally convinced opposite after they smashed Celtic 7-0, and this weekend, if anyone left, had any doubts they were cleared when they defeated Leganes 1-5 in La Liga. Messi, Neymar, and Suarez are doing their job fantastic, and Barca has already scored 20 goals in 5 matches this season, and we are not counting five goals from Spanish Super cup games against Sevilla.
Lionel Messi scored against Celtic his sixth hat-trick and that made him the only player who ever accomplished this kind of record. He scored 7 goals this season, and his teammate, Luis Suarez 6. Newcomer from Olympic Lyon, Samuel Umtiti quickly established himself as a good acquisition, in the first game of this year Champions League against Celtic he had 96% of accurate passes. Barcelona’s coach Luis Enrique has no problems with injuries and suspensions, and he can combine team resting some players and rotating another. He will for sure, change some of them, trying and testing some new tactical thoughts. A wide range of extra quality player gives him the freedom to experiment, so we could expect some kind of changes comparing to the last match. Arda Turan, Andre Gomes, Lucas Digne some of them can be expected to be in starting a lineup of Catalonian team.
Barcelona plays its own game, does not adapt to anyone, so Borussia will not be an exception. Possession game with fast passes through the middle and through the defense to Suarez and Messi. Fast and ferocious attacks from MSN trio is the most important thing for Barca’s game and as long this is functioning Luis Enrique can be calm. The biggest potential threat is Thorgan Hazard creative spark in the attack of the home team and back line has to stop him from having open space where he is lethal. Also, Barca’s defense will have to keep an eye on Raffael and Lars Stindl, two dangerous offensive players who are a good duo in front of opposite goal.
Ter Stegen; Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Roberto; Rakitic, Iniesta, Busquets; Neymar, Messi, Suarez.
Cillessen,Digne, Turan, Umtiti, Andre Gomes, Mathieu.
Barcelona averages 17 shots per game and scores 3,3 goals a game this year, while Borussia does not defend well against teams with often play with trough ball attacks. Both teams like to have possession of the ball, Barca averaging 62.4%, Borussia 56.5%, and both are teams with high pass accuracy. This will be an an open game, with two offensive minded teams, who have enormous attacking potential and will undoubtedly be a game with at least three goals. Borussia will try to have as many as possible long shots because that is one thing that they do excellent. Barca is going to attack defensive line with sharp ground passes toward Suarez, while Messi and Neymar are going to try to make an extra man in front of the box when they attack the goal.
*Team news as at time of writing.
These two teams have never played against each other in official matches, this will be their first one.
Betting prediction for this game is pretty much clear, Barcelona is huge favorite, and there will be at least three goals in the game, so you may combine, Barcelona wins with over 2.5 goals, for you who want riskier bettings you can play over 3.5 goals.