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Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp Prediction: Champions League Match on 19.09.2023

Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp Prediction: Champions League Match on 19.09.2023

Alex Dudley Alex Dudley
  • Betting Tip
    Barcelona to Win
  • Odds
    1.15
  • Bet Here

After an enforced hiatus, Xavi Hernandez and Barcelona return to the Champions League on Tuesday when they host Belgian Pro League side Royal Antwerp for matchday one in Group H, with kickoff slated for 19:00 GMT.

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Key Highlights

Barcelona’s Fine Form Domestically a Sign of Things to Come?

Xavi’s men are unbeaten in La Liga after four rounds of fixtures before the international break. They won three times and drew once. They scored eight times and conceded four goals in the process.

Barcelona have collected 10 points from the available 12 and are just 2 points behind leaders Barcelona, and level on 10 with fellow unbeaten side Girona in second on the La Liga table.

La Blaugrana opened the season with a 0-0 draw away to Getafe before bouncing back with a 2-0 home win against Cadiz. They also won against Villarreal (3-4) and Osasuna (1-2).

Barcelona have kept two clean sheets in this round, and they conceded three goals in the crazy 3-4 win at Villarreal. This highlights their otherwise solid and compact abilities in La Liga.

Xabi will look to get off the mark with a win against Antwerp on Tuesday, playing in front of home supporters and in the middle of a good run of form.

Royal Antwerp’s Mixed Domestic Form A Worry Ahead of Meeting Barcelona

In the opening six rounds of fixtures in the Belgian Pro League, Royal Antwerp have won just twice. Although they have lost just once, they have drawn twice to collect 11 points from 18 and sit 4th on the table,2 points off leaders Gent.

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Antwerp’s loss in this run of matches came in the 1-0 reverse away to Anderlecht. Despite dominating this match in possession and shots on target, Antwerp could not convert them to affect the result. 

The lack of cutting edge was also displayed in their consecutive draws against Oud-Heverlee Leuven (1-1) and Union Saint-Gilloise (2-2). 

Against Oud-Heverlee Leuven, Antwerp led the match from the 34th minute when they took the lead until the 82nd minute when they conceded the equalizer. Against Union Saint-Gilloise, Antwerp went behind in the 4th minute when they conceded a penalty; they fought to take a 2-1 lead before conceding the equalizer in the dying minutes.

Royal Antwerp will need to be alert and disciplined against a good and in-form Barcelona side on Tuesday.

Injury Report

Barcelona

Xavi has some doubts ahead of the kickoff of their Champions League matchday one against Royal Antwerp.

Central midfielder Pedri is still nursing a hamstring injury, and the 25-year-old is expected back in the middle of October.

Center-back Ronald Araujo is returning to fitness; however, the clash with Antwerp might come too soon for the 24-year-old.

Royal Antwerp

The Belgian Pro League side will be without a few players in their clash with Barcelona. Some of these include Bjorn Engels (achilles), Ortwin De Wolf (finger), Davino Verhulst (fractured orbit), Sam Vines (knock), and Kobe Corbaine (surgery).

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Possible Lineups

Barcelona

M. ter Stegen; M. Alonso, A. Christensen, J. Kounde, S. Roberto; D. de Jong, O. Romeu, i. Gundogan; Gavi, R. Lwandowski, L. Yamal

Royal Antwerp

J. Butez; O. Wijndal, S. Coulibaly, T. Alderweireld, J. Bataille; M. Keita, A. Vermeeren; M. Balikwisha, J. Ekkelenkamp, G. Kerk; V. Janssen

Prediction

Barcelona will look to start fast and on the front foot. They will keep the ball, press across the pitch, and look to dominate the match from the first whistle.

Royal Antwerp will be disciplined, compact in their defense, and use their pace on transition attacks to pose an attacking threat.

Barcelona will win the home match and get off to a good start in Group H.

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