Champions League Preview (Group Stage): Barcelona vs. Apoel

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Updated: September 10, 2014
Barcelona

Match Date: 17 September 2014 (local time)

Venue: Camp Nou

 

It has been a while since Barcelona last featured in the Champions League. Its previous campaigns have been strong, but soon lost its grit as the squad approaches the latter stages of the competition. Its performance last season was no different from its disappointing displays in the past. Strong and seemingly invincible at first, but will soon crumble in the middle and later on, fall out of the competition. Many are missing that old Barcelona grit that sends tremor across the pitch and once again, Barca gets another chance. The question, however, is whether they will exploit this opportunity to gain advantage or simply wither away.

 

Certainly, they are the online betting favorite compared to Apoel. Yet, they must remember that Apoel has the reputation of being an unexpected dark horse that could force a stunner at will.

 

The contenders

Barcelona

After failing to snatch a single trophy last season, Barcelona is serious on getting its dose of revenge and this includes winning the Champions League silverware.

 

Just recently, the club sought the Luis Enrique’s signature in an attempt to revive the winning attitude of the Spanish powerhouse. Enrique was the man behind Celta Vigo’s successful season and many are expecting him to do the same for Barca.

 

Lionel Messi, who has been plagued by injury last season is already at his 100% and have already started collecting goals for the club in the domestic league.

 

Unfortunately, the upcoming match could have been more exciting if the Uruguayan striker. Luis Suarez will participate. The controversial poacher is serving a 4-match ban after the biting incident that took place between him and Giorgio Chielleni during the World Cup.

 

Apoel

Apoel was the dark horse of the 2011-2012  Champions League season. The squad has managed to reach the quarter-finals, much to the surprise of many. Since then, Apoel has been a consistent contender in the competition, except last season when they were unable to qualify.

 

Apparently, Apoel missed the thrill and excitement of this particular tournament and one can only expect a world-class performance from the club.

 

Possible head turners

Other than Lioenl Messi, Neymar is of course, expected to shine in the face-off. The Brazilian international has already recovered from the injury he incurred during the World Cup and is hoping to feature in the upcoming match.

 

Prediction

 

Barcelona 3-0 Apoel

 

Image Source: Mirror