MADRID, Oct 25 (Xinhua) — FC Barcelona have a vital UEFA Champions League home game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Barça are third in Group C, three points behind Inter Milan, but if Inter win their home match against Viktoria Plzen in a game that starts two hours before Barça’s game at Camp Nou, Barça will not could finish in second place, having lost 1-0 in Milan before drawing 3-3 at home to Inter two weeks ago.
That means, for now, they have to prepare for Wednesday’s match as if there’s everything to play for, but when the game starts, all that could be at stake is a spot in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16. .
“There is a modicum of hope,” Barca midfielder Pedri told Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
Barça enters the game with home victories by 3 to 0 and 4 to 0 over Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, in which the games were resolved at half-time. However, they missed Sergi Roberto through injury after he dislocated his shoulder on Sunday, and he joins Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Memphis Depay on the injury list.
Hector Bellerin is likely to return at right-back, while any other move Barca manager Xavi Hernandez makes could depend on the score between Inter and Viktoria Plzen.
Atletico Madrid also have an important game at home against Bayer Leverkusen, as they seek to reach the round of 16.
Atlético are third in the group, two points behind Porto, who visit Club Brugge in another kick-off. Atlético will have the advantage of knowing Porto’s result against a team that has already qualified for the round of 16, but if Porto win in Belgium, anything but a win would leave Atlético in contention for a place in the Europa League.
Coach Diego Simeone will almost certainly continue with Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata in fine form in attack against a rival who currently sits 15th in the Bundesliga and continues to score despite the arrival of Xabi Alonso as head coach.
Former Real Madrid player Alonso can expect a hostile reception at the Estadio Metropolitano. ■