Barcelona need only a draw against Roma in their penultimate Group E game in the Champions League to progress to the last 16 of the competition. They
Barcelona need only a draw against Roma in their penultimate Group E game in the Champions League to progress to the last 16 of the competition.
They head into the tie full of confidence following their thrashing of arch rivals Real Madrid at the weekend, which also saw the long-awaited return of star player Lionel Messi, who had been sidelined for two months with a knee injury.
On Messi’s return to action Barca boss Luis Enrique said: “I saw him very well. (It’s) Great news for all the ‘culers’ (Barca fans) and for all the team mates and for all those that make up Barca, to see the best (player) back on the field, training and playing, and now all he needs is to charge his legs with minutes, with batteries and (then we can) enjoy Leo again.”
Barcelona are five points clear at the top of the group and need just a point to progress while Roma will qualify with a win if Bayer Leverkusen fail to beat BATE Borisov in the group’s other match.
Arsenal take on Dinamo Zagreb in a must win Group F fixture.
Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, who tuned up for the match with a Premier league defeat by West Brom, need to win on home soil and hope Olympiakos lose to group leaders Bayern Munich to have any chance of overtaking the Greeks in second in the final round of matches.
Wenger said: “It’s true that we need a positive result from Bayern but that positive result only has an impact if we win, so let’s focus on what we can do.”
Bayern Munich and Olympiakos however meet knowing a draw would take both through to the last 16 and eliminate Arsenal.
Chelsea, who celebrated a first win in four domestic league outings at the weekend, will qualify for the knockout stage if they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv and Dynamo Kyiv drop points at Group G leaders Porto.
And finally Zenit St Petersburg have already qualified from Group H but will clinch first place with a draw against Valencia, who in turn, will progress if they win and Gent fail to beat Lyon in the other tie.