Match Preview: Barcelona vs Lyon

FC Barcelona v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: A general view as fans show their support as the teams line up prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou on March 8, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Barcelona host Lyon in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, after a goalless draw in the first leg three weeks ago.

Barca and Lyon played for the last time in this phase of the Champions League back in 2009, when the Spanish champions thumped the visitors 5-2 at Camp Nou.

Both clubs are unbeaten in the competition this season, but only one team will progress into the quarter-finals tonight.

Team news

Rafinha and Vermaelen are still out injured, while Ousmane Dembele is a major doubt for Ernesto Valverde’s side.

Right-back Nelson Semedo will miss the first leg of a potential quarter-final if he picks up a booking tonight.

Nabil Fekir is back from suspension for Lyon, after missing the first leg in France.

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Defender Marcelo is doubtful with a hamstring strain, while young striker Amine Gouiri is still recovering from an ACL injury.

What did the managers say

Ernesto Valverde is aware that anything can happen at this stage of the competition and asked his team to approach the game carefully:

“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.”

Lyon coach Bruno Genesio was full of confidence at the press conference ahead of their match of the season. “We can do this, and we must have confidence in ourselves. We have to be inspired by the match we played at the Etihad against Manchester City,” he said via the UEFA official website.

“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.”

Stats

  • Barcelona have reached at least the quarter-finals in the last eleven editions of the Champions League. That’s already a record but the run could be extended to 12 with the right result today.
  • Lyon have not reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 2009/10 when they beat Real Madrid 2-1 on aggregate in the round of 16.
  • Barcelona have won all three of their home matches against Lyon in the Champions League, scoring 10 goals and conceding only two.
  • Metz are the only French side to beat Barcelona at Camp Nou in European competition, in the first round of the Cup Winners’ Cup in October 1984.
  • Barca have equaled Bayern Munich’s record of going 29 games without losing at home in the competition (from 1998 to 2002).