Preview: Barcelona vs. Ferencvaros - prediction, team news, lineups

sportsmole.co.uk, 18 October 2020, 09:42
Preview: Barcelona vs. Ferencvaros - prediction, team news, lineups

Barcelona will be looking to make a winning start to their 2020-21 Champions League campaign when they welcome Hungarian champions Ferencvaros to Camp Nou on Tuesday night.

The Catalan giants were thumped by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of last season's competition, while this is the first time in 25 years that Ferencvaros have been present in the group stages of the Champions League.

Match preview

© Reuters

As expected, Quique Setien was removed from his position as Barca boss in the aftermath of the team's incredible 8-2 defeat to Bayern in the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 Champions League. It was the first time that the Catalan giants had conceded eight times in a match since 1946, and it was a season to forget for the club as they also relinquished control of the La Liga title to Real Madrid.

Ronald Koeman is now in charge of first-team affairs, and a positive start to the 2020-21 La Liga campaign saw them claim seven points from their first three games with Villarreal, Celta Vigo and Sevilla.

Barca will enter Tuesday's clash off the back of a disappointing result, though, suffering a 1-0 defeat at Getafe on Saturday. There are certainly problems for the team to address, and Koeman will be desperate to pick up a positive result here ahead of El Clasico at home to Real Madrid on October 24.

The La Liga giants are actually unbeaten in their last 36 home Champions League matches, while they have reached the knockout stage of this competition in each of the last 16 seasons, meaning that it would be a huge shock if they did not progress this term.

Juventus are also part of Group G and will be looking to finish at the summit, though, while Dynamo Kiev are certainly capable of causing problems in what is a very interesting section.

© Reuters

Ferencvaros, as mentioned, are in the group stages of the Champions League for the first time in 25 years, with their only other appearance in the competition coming during the 1995-96 campaign.

Managed by former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United striker Sergiy Rebrov, the Green Eagles won their 31st Hungarian title last season and their second in succession to book their spot in the early rounds of the Champions League.

Ferencvaros overcame Djurgarden in the middle of August before famously beating Celtic in Scotland; a 2-1 victory at home to Dinamo Zagreb followed, before the Hungarian side edged past Molde on away goals over two legs in the playoffs to advance to the group stage of the competition.

Fradi actually reached the quarter-finals of the 1965-66 European Cup before losing to Inter Milan, while they are the first Hungarian side to feature in the group stages of Europe's leading cup competition since Debrechen in 2009-10, which is an indication of their achievement.

Rebrov's team have also been in good form at the start of their 2020-21 league season, picking up 13 points from five matches to top the table, and they will enter this match off the back of a 2-0 victory over Kisvarda on Friday.

Barcelona Champions League form: DWWDWL

Barcelona form (all competitions): WWDL

Ferencvaros Champions League form: LWWWDD

Ferencvaros form (all competitions): WWDDWW

Team News

© Reuters

Barca will again be without the services of Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Jordi Alba through injury, while ongoing knee problems are also expected to rule Samuel Umtiti out of contention.

Koeman is bound to have one eye on the upcoming clash with Real Madrid, although the Dutchman is still expected to select a strong XI, including Lionel Messi, for Tuesday's European encounter.

Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho were both left out of the starting side against Getafe, but the pair should return for this match, while Junior Firpo could be handed a spot at left-back.

Antoine Griezmann struggled to make his mark against Getafe, but the attacker is expected to be in the XI for this game, while Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong are likely to continue in central midfield.

As for Ferencvaros, only two members of their first-team squad - Robert Mak and Oleksandr Zubkov - have ever played in the group stages of the Champions League, which is an indication of their inexperience at this level.

There is a strong chance that Rebrov could decide to select the same XI that started against Molde in the second leg of their playoff encounter, with Myrto Uzuni leading the line, while there should also be a spot for Tokmac Nguen, who has scored seven times in 10 appearances in all competitions this season.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan joined the club over the summer, but Denes Dibusz is the team's vice-captain and should get the nod between the sticks for this match.

Barcelona possible starting lineup:

Neto; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Firpo; Busquets, De Jong; Fati, Coutinho, Griezmann; Messi

Ferencvaros possible starting lineup:

Dibusz; Lovrencsics, Blazic, Botka, Heister; Kharatin, Somalia; Nguen, Siger, Zubkov; Uzuni

We say: Barcelona 3-1 Ferencvaros

Ferencvaros must be taken seriously having already beaten Celtic and Dinamo Zagreb in this season's Champions League, and we fancy the visitors to score at Camp Nou on Tuesday. That said, Barca's quality should ultimately shine through to help them claim all three points in their competition opener.

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