Breaking news: 5 reasons why Barcelona will thrash Roma in first leg of Champions League quarterfinals
With the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals approaching, we take a look at the reasons why Barcelona will beat Roma at Camp Nou.
UEFA Champions League 2017/18 has reached its business end as teams gear up for the quarter-final fixtures.
Camp Nou will play host to AS Roma in the first-leg with Barcelona looking to exert their dominance. Eusebio Di Francesco’s side progressed on away goals after the two-legged round of 16 fixture against FC Shakhtar Donetsk ended 2-2 (aggregate score).
Barcelona, on the other hand, progressed to the quarter-finals with ease as they defeated the English giants, Chelsea, 4-1 (aggregate score). Last time AS Roma played at the Camp Nou, they were destroyed by the Catalan side 5-1 in UEFA Champions League 2010/11.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the reasons why Barcelona will beat AS Roma at the Camp Nou on Wednesday:
#5 Barcelona’s home form
The Catalan side came out comfortable winners in four UEFA Champions League home games this season, scoring eight goals and conceding only one. They defeated Juventus (3-0), Olympiacos FC (3-1), Sporting Clube de Portugal (2-0) in the group stage and Chelsea (3-0) in the round of 16.
The Blaugrana are unbeaten in 25 UEFA Champions League games at the Camp Nou, a stunning run that started in September 2013, winning 23 games in the process. The Catalan giants are unbeaten in their last 10 home knockout matches, winning 8 of them.
The last time they lost a UEFA Champions League knockout game was in 2012/13, when Bayern Munich defeated them 3-0 in the semi-final. Expect this Barcelona side to beat AS Roma without any trouble.
#4 Roma lack the experience of a big Champions League night
The Italian side will be playing their first UEFA Champions League quarter-final in a decade while the Blaugrana are in the quarter-final for a record 11th campaign in a row.
Roma last played a Champions League quarter-final in 2006/07 when Manchester United beat them 3-0 on aggregate. Since then they have managed to reach the round of 16 only on 3 occasions, losing to Arsenal, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, and Real Madrid in 2008/09, 2010/11, and 2015/16 respectively.
They beat Shakhtar by the smallest of margins in the round of 16 this season and Barcelona could be too big a task for the Italian side.
#3 Barcelona’s deadly duo up front
The partnership between Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez keeps getting better. The duo operates almost telepathically and combines well to torment almost all the sides.
The Argentine has scored 35 goals and assisted 14 in 2017/18 while the Uruguayan has scored 25 and assisted nine. The duo is in stunning form this calendar year. In the last six competitive games for Barcelona, the duo has produced 12 goals and two assists.
It’s not just about goals. Messi and Suarez produced 14 and 13 key passes respectively in their last six games for Barcelona. They are in ruthless form at the moment and stopping them looks close to impossible.
#2 Return of Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele’s Barcelona career got off to a dreadful start, as the Frenchman was kept on the sidelines for almost six months after a £135.5 million move to Barcelona in the summer.
However, things have gotten better for him in 2018. Earlier in the month, he scored his first goal for Barcelona, in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 game against Chelsea. In his last five starts, the Frenchman has scored 1 and created 3 goals.
One thing that Barcelona lacked this season was pace in the wide areas and the return of Dembele will certainly provide that. The 20-year-old showed flashes of his brilliance against Chelsea and Malaga and his return will obviously add to Barcelona’s strength.
#1 Roma’s miserable record in knock-out games
In the last 10 years, Roma have reached the UEFA Champions League knock-out stages on 4 occasions and only once have they managed to reach the quarter-finals. Their record in knock-out games is quite dismal.
In their last 10 UEFA Champions League knock-out games, Roma have lost on 9 occasions, conceding 16 goals. Their away record looks dreadful as well, having lost their five previous away games in the UEFA Champions League, scoring only once and conceding nine times in the process.
They were thrashed 6-1 (aggregate score) by Barcelona when these two sides last met in the Champions League. Roma need a miracle to cause an upset and that does not look forthcoming. Expect the Catalan giants to destroy AS Roma at the Camp Nou.