HomeSportsFootballBarca, Porto brace for UCL thriller, injury-hit Newcastle face PSG

Barca, Porto brace for UCL thriller, injury-hit Newcastle face PSG


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Group H heavyweights Barcelona and Porto are poised for an exhilarating Champions League encounter on Tuesday on the iconic Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

Barcelona at present reign supreme on the summit of Group H, sharing the head with Porto at 9 factors every.

The race intensifies with third-placed Shakhtar Donetsk trailing intently, merely three factors adrift, including a layer of intrigue to this finely poised group.

The Catalan giants missed a chance to safe their knockout stage berth earlier, stumbling towards Shakhtar on Nov. 7 in a 1-0 upset.

The repercussions of this loss have injected a component of stress into Barcelona’s journey, regardless of nonetheless sustaining their high place.

As they gear as much as face Porto, Barcelona have the possibility to seal their spot within the last-16 stage with a victory.

A draw may suffice if Shakhtar fails to triumph towards Royal Antwerp within the concurrent group match.

However, a defeat coupled with a Shakhtar win would set the stage for a tense closing matchday.

Adding to the narrative, La Blaugrana enter this showdown on the again of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, at present languishing in fourth place.

For head coach Xavi Hernandes, the Champions League has confirmed to be a formidable problem, having didn’t information the crew previous the group stage in two makes an attempt.

On the flip facet, Porto have displayed formidable kind in Group H, securing three victories out of 4 matches.

A win towards Barcelona would propel them to the knockout stage if Shakhtar falter towards Antwerp.

A draw, mixed with a Shakhtar loss, would additionally suffice for the Portuguese giants.

Porto’s current triumphs embody a 2-1 win over Vitoria Guimaraes within the league and a commanding 4-0 success over Montalegre within the Taca de Portugal.

Manager Sergio Conceicao’s facet, having clinched the Champions League trophy in 1987 and 2004, goals to construct on final season’s success, the place they reached the spherical of 16.

The fixture carries added significance for Barcelona, doubtlessly lacking key gamers like Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Gavi.

In distinction, Porto face damage issues with gamers like Samuel Portugal, Ivan Marcano, Gabriel Veron and Ivan Jaime sidelined.

Parc des Princes drama

Newcastle discover themselves at a vital juncture of their Champions League journey.

After a promising 4-1 victory over PSG in October, the Magpies now grapple with a mounting damage disaster, with back-to-back defeats to Borussia Dortmund leaving them on the backside of Group F.

Eddie Howe’s males face a formidable problem towards PSG, needing to keep away from defeat to maintain their hopes alive for a spot within the final 16.

Despite their monetary backing from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Newcastle’s conservative strategy within the switch market is below scrutiny, with key gamers like Sandro Tonali and Harvey Barnes grappling with bans and accidents.

The membership’s resolve was evident in a surprising 4-1 victory over Chelsea, showcasing their depth within the face of adversity.

However, Howe stays cautious of an energy-draining encounter towards PSG, led by Kylian Mbappe, who seeks revenge after the humiliating defeat in Newcastle.

Newcastle’s journey within the Champions League displays the rising pains of a squad evolving from relegation battles to competing on the European stage.

While the street to emulating Manchester City’s rise could also be full of challenges, a resilient Magpies facet goals to silence Mbappe as soon as once more and safe a coveted spot within the final 16.

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