FC Barcelona is gearing up for their Champions League debut against Royal Antwerp with two significant changes to their starting lineup compared to their La Liga match against Real Betis last Saturday. Winning the domestic championship earlier this year secured Barca’s spot in Pot 1 during the Champions League draw, resulting in a relatively favorable group draw compared to previous seasons.
This has given them a strong chance of progressing to the knockout phases for the first time in three years. Furthermore, on Tuesday, the Muntjac Stadium, serving as Barca’s temporary home, will host a UCL match for the first time in its 96-year history.
For their Group H debut, Barca’s coach, Xavi Hernandez, is set to implement three significant changes in the starting XI from the squad that triumphed over Betis just 72 hours ago. One notable change is up top, with Raphia taking the place of the impressive Ferrand Torres.
This marks Raphia’s first start since his red card in the season opener against Getafe. On the opposite side of Robert Lewandowski, Joao Felix has received the green light following his remarkable performance against Real Betis. You may also check Breaking Star Browns RB Nick.
Marc-Andre term Steven (6/10)
Ter Steven had a relatively quiet night, with minimal action apart from a superb double-save in the second half, which was eventually ruled offside during the attack.
Joao Cancels (7/10)
Canelo was given the freedom to push forward and operate in the final third. He occasionally tucked into midfield and displayed clever distribution, delivering precise crosses and slick passes.
Jules Kunde (6/10)
Kunde handled defensive duties with ease and frequently ventured into the opposition’s half. He even attempted a long-range shot, although it sailed over the crossbar.
Andreas Christensen (6/10)
Christensen remained in control in defense and had ample time to distribute the ball. He displayed composure and calmness throughout the match.
Alejandro Baled (6/10)
Baled, at times, essentially played as a left winger. He had a chance in the first half but hit the side netting, making it one of his quieter nights in a Barcelona shirt.
In 2023, Barca relies on Elkay Gundog an as their midfield creator. On the 11th minute, he exchanged passes with Lewandowski before setting up Felix, who scored at the near post. The lead was doubled eight minutes later when Frankie de Jong delivered a superb long ball to Felix on the left side.
Felix, on loan from Atletico Madrid, provided a cross for Lewandowski to volley home from close range. Unfortunately for Antwerp, their Champions League debut turned into a nightmare as Alejandro Blade’s cross deflected off right-back Bastille and found the back of the net via the far post. You should also read Bijan Robinson’s Jaw-Dropping.
Barcelona asserted their control in the midfield, effortlessly threading passes and finding the back of the net seemingly at whim. The breakthrough arrived in the 54th minute when Gavi etched his name into the annals of Champions League history, unleashing a thunderous strike that nestled into the top corner of the goal.
The crescendo of goals was perfectly punctuated by the dynamic João Félix, who capitalized on Raphia’s exquisite left-footed cross. Raphia, demonstrating his wizardry on the right flank, masterfully delivered an unstoppable ball, which Félix expertly nodded home at the far post.