An easy group, without teams that can opt to the title
This afternoon the Champions League draw was held in Monaco and we discovered the opponents for Barcelona in the group stage: Bayer Leverkusen, Roma and BATE Borisov, pretty much easy rivals. Leverkusen and Roma are uncomfortable, but there is no team that can opt to win the competition as it had happened in other seasons, like last year with PSG.
Let’s analyze the three opponents of FC Barcelona:
A pretty easy opponent. They won Lazio with no problems in the play-off, but this season they have lost some important players, like the Korean Son. Regarding the collective point of view, they are an intense team, with a high pressure. A young and ambitious squad, with an extraordinary 21-year-old Turk player, Çalhanoğlu, but they are not in the first line yet.
Last season, they lost against Atlético Madrid in the penalty shoot-out at the round of 16.
Barcelona played Joan Gamper Trophy against them some weeks ago, but the team we will find in UCL will be really different. They have signed good players like Dzeko (coming from Manchester City), Salah (from Chelsea) or the goalkeeper Szczęsny (from Arsenal on loan).
They play beautiful soccer and have legendary players like Totti or Rossi; they also have young players like the former Barcelona footballer Iago Falque.
Besides, it’s the team where Luis Enrique debuted as coach in the first line. He will surely be happy to face them and they will be as well, as they have very good memories of him.
Roma will probably compete vs Leverkusen for the second place of the group, which will benefit Barcelona.
Since the last time Barcelona faced them, they have gained experience. They have technical limitations, but a good physical level. The former FC Barcelona player Hleb is their best player.
They are the absolute leaders of the Belorussian league and they are doing little steps in Europe, like being in the group stage regularly. But they are still a second-line team.