The UEFA Champions League Group Stage concludes with an intriguing clash between FC Barcelona and Royal Antwerp FC set to take place on Wednesday, December 13th, at the Bosuilstadion. With both teams eyeing distinct goals, the encounter promises a gripping battle on the field.
Barcelona, buoyed by their recent victory in the previous fixture, aims to uphold the fervor of their supporters. Following their triumph, the team enters this match eager to sustain their winning momentum. On the flip side, the local team, Royal Antwerp, seeks redemption after their recent defeat and aims to secure a crucial three points following their last disappointing outing.
Royal Antwerp FC, having faced a setback with a 0-1 loss against Shakhtar Donetsk, is determined to avoid further disappointment. The team has faced a challenging run of form in their last four matches, conceding 15 goals while netting only 3 in return. This fixture presents an opportunity for them to reverse their fortunes.
Barcelona arrives with a psychological boost after a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Porto. Their recent form boasts three wins and one defeat, accompanied by an impressive goal-scoring record of 10 goals scored and 3 conceded.
The previous encounter between these sides in this competition ended with a resounding 5-0 victory in favor of Barcelona on September 19th.
As the group leaders, Barcelona has already secured their berth in the Round of 16, whereas Royal Antwerp FC has no chance of progressing in the UEFA Champions League 2023-2024 edition.
The referee designated for this crucial encounter is Marco Guida.
The possible lineups, without Iñigo Martínez, Gavi and Marcos Alonso
According to Sport, the probable line-ups for Antwerp-FC Barcelona are as follows:
Antwerp: Butez; Wijndal, Alderweireld, Coulibaly, Bataille; Vermeeren, Balikwisha, Alhassan Yussuf; Kerk, Jenssen, and Muja.
FC Barcelona: Iñaki Peña; Fort, Koundé, Christensen, Balde; Sergi Roberto, Romeu, Fermín; Lamine Yamal, Ferran, and Joao Félix.
Winning or drawing would secure the top spot in the group for Barça, whereas a defeat for the Blaugranas in Belgium (for example, 1-0), coupled with a landslide victory for Shakhtar at Do Dragao by 0-7, would propel the Ukrainians to the first position. On the other hand, a Porto victory combined with a Barça defeat wouldn't harm the Catalan team, as they have a better head-to-head record against the Portuguese side.
With contrasting ambitions driving both teams, the clash promises to deliver an engaging spectacle as they vie for their respective objectives on the European stage.