Sports Mole brings you team news, scheduled trainings and a complete preview of Barcelona's trip to Lyon in the Champions League.
Barcelona I will do the trip to Lyon Tuesday night for what promises to be a fascinating battle in the knockout stage of the Champions League.
The Groupama stadium will host the first leg of the round of 16 this week, before the two teams meet at the Camp Nou in the return match on 13 March.
Surprisingly, this is the first time in seven seasons in which Lyon has reached the knockout stage of the Champions League. The French team is facing 10th place in the competition of the last 16th and despite having won the first three, it has actually lost five of the last six matches at this stage.
Indeed, Lyon's last victory at this stage of the competition came during the 2009-10 season when they beat Real Madrid 2-1 overall. They have been beaten by APOEL in the 2011-12 season, however, and have found a real fight to compete in this Champions League stage in recent years.
Les Goes opened the season of this season's Champions League with a 2-1 victory over Manchester City, but then drew each of the next five to finish on eight points; that total was enough to secure the second place in the section, though, and set this fascinating battle with the Spanish champions.
Bruno GenesioThe team is out of the game, but has lost only one of the last 10 European games, while it has won seven and lost only one of the last 13 European home games. In addition, the Ligue 1 team was beaten only once in this phase of the Champions League at home – a 2-0 win against Roma in 2007.
The Lyon will host Barcelona in the Champions League for the first time since February 2009. In that particular season they also blocked the trumpets in the second round and while Lyon drew 1-1 at home, they lost 5-2 in the return leg to the Camp Nou to exit the competition for 6-3 overall.
The fact that Lyon has never beat Barcelona in a European game is a concern, but the French team have won six of their last seven games in all competitions, including a 2-1 victory over Guingamp in the championship on Friday evening.
Genesio's team – third in Ligue 1 – beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 home at the start of this month, while there is no doubt that they have the talent to cause champions to Spain of all kinds of problems Tuesday evening.
It is hard to ask Lyon to beat Barcelona on two legs, but a positive result in the home would certainly be the chance to move to the quarter-finals of the European elite competition.
Recent form: WDDDDD
Recent form (all races): WWWWLW
While there is every chance that Barcelona can win another double of the Liga and the Copa del Rey this season, the Champions League is the trophy that the Catalan giants really want to get for the end of the campaign.
In fact, the famous club has not won this competition since 2015 and has lost to the quarter-final in each of the last three seasons, which is not simply good enough for a team of their kind.
This is the fifteenth consecutive year that the Spanish giants have conquered the knockout phase of the Champions League, however, and have been victorious in 12 of their previous 14 precedents. Last season, Barcelona beat Chelsea 4-1 at this stage, while their famous 6-5 aggregate on PSG occurred at the same stage of the 2016-17 season.
Ernesto ValverdeThe team has not won in the last five knockout games, but has triumphed both at Tottenham Hotspur and PSV Eindhoven in the group stage of this season's competition, as well as picking a 1-1 draw at Inter. A total of 14 points saw them top Group B ahead of Tottenham.
The presence of Lionel Messi means that the Catalan giants must be seen as one of the favorites for this season's trophy. However, it would be fair to say that they have not been in the best shape in the last few weeks.
In fact, the Valverde team has scraped only Real Valladolid in the Liga on Saturday night and drew the last three games in all the competitions that led to the weekend race.
Barcelona now have a seven-point lead at the top of the Liga, but will face a decisive match in Seville next weekend before joining Real Madrid for the Copa del Rey semi-final on 27 February. to the bang while they visit Los Blancos again, this time in the league.
The fact that Barcelona have won only seven of their last 19 games in the Champions League suggests that Tuesday will be really difficult 90 minutes for the Spanish champions.
Recent form: WWWDWD
Recent form (all races): WWDDDW
Lyon will be without their captain Nabil Fekir for the first stage, with the twenty-five year old who lost by suspension. The Frenchman has 11 goals in all competitions this season and his absence is a blow to the hosts.
Key midfielder Tanguy Ndombele he is also struggling with an ankle problem while the defender Jason Denayer he was replaced against Guingamp over the weekend and is seen as a doubt.
MarceloHowever, he should be in good shape after suffering only cramps in Friday's Ligue 1 attack.
Memphis Depay scored six goals and recorded 13 assists for Lyon this season and the former Manchester United striker will be ready to make another important performance against a senior European club.
As for Barcelona, Thomas Vermaelen is not available after collecting a calf problem against Valladolid, with Belgian participation Rafinha, Jasper Cillessen is Arthur in the margin.
Samuel Umtiti it is also unlikely to show up while recovering from a knee problem, but there will be a number of changes from the team that started against Valladolid over the weekend.
Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo is Clement Lenglet they will all come back, but Philippe Coutinho could be left on the bench again with Ousmane Dembele he expected to get the nod in three.
Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Marcal, Marcelo, Denayer; Mendy, Aouar, Ndombele, Tete; Depay, Dembele, Cornet
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Vidal, Rakitic; Dembele, L Suarez, Messi
Head to head
Tuesday will only bring the seventh meeting between these two teams in the European competition. The Barcelona won four of the previous six, remaining undefeated in the process.
As mentioned, the Spanish giants recorded an aggregate 6-3 victory when they met in phase 16 of the 2008-09 competition, but all four others were in the group stage.
Lyon led Barcelona to draw 2-2 at home in November 2007, but the Catalan team recorded a 3-2 victory in France in October 2001, with Patrick Kluivert is Rivaldo both on the report.
Let's say: Lyon 1-1 Barcelona
We expect a very tight match in France. Barcelona will feel that every draw is a good result, while Lyon will try to stay tied before returning to the Camp Nou.