Barcelona v Lyon preview: all you need to know
Reporter’s view (Graham Hunter, UEFA.com): Ernesto Valverde went as far as to call 0-0 away from home a dangerous scoreline after the first leg – and that outcome, combined with Ousmane Dembélé’s injury probems, will make this a night, initially at least, of Camp Nou nerves. Moreover, while Lionel Messi has authored Barça’s brilliant burst of domestic form since the match in Lyon, he has looked ever so slightly off his peak in recent games. An evening of high drama is assured.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitić, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
Out: Rafinha (knee)
Doubtful: Dembélé (hamstring), Vermaelen (thigh)
Misses next game if booked: Semedo
Lyon: Lopes; Dubois, Denayer, Marcelo, Mendy; Tousart, Ndombélé; Depay, Fekir, Aouar; Dembélé
Out: Gouiri (knee)
Doubtful: Marcelo (thigh)
Messi v Denayer: If Lionel Messi’s stated aim this season is to bring the UEFA Champions League title to the Camp Nou, Lyon’s Belgian defender currently stands in his way. The Barça talisman has been in scintillating form – witness his recent Liga hat-trick against Sevilla – but Lyon’s away form this term (W1 D2) provides some cause for thought. And if Jason Denayer performs as he did when silencing Messi and Luis Suárez in the first leg, a score draw to take the visitors through is not inconceivable.
Where to watch
Last game: Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano (09/03)
Last game: Strasbourg 2-2 Lyon (09/03)
Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona coach
There’s something a bit different when you prepare for a Champions League game. Every coach at every team feels it, given how important the competition is and the prestige it has. Some big teams have been knocked out and anything can happen. We know how good Lyon are – they have some powerful players, especially in midfield and going forward. But we are ready to do our job, knowing we have our supporters behind us.
Bruno Génésio, Lyon coach
We have to play our own game, with freedom. We know it will be difficult against one of the best teams in the world, but we know we can do it because we have [won at Manchester City on matchday one]. We must show we belong at this level. Ajax’s result [against Real Madrid] gives us strength. Many things depend on Messi. We will develop a game plan to reduce his influence, but we must be able to take calculated risks. We must be prepared to suffer.