lionel messi
Barcelona's Lionel Messi attends a training session ahead of their Champions League game against Roma in ItalyReuters

It will be a return for Barcelona manager Luis Henrique at Roma as the defending European champions take on the Italian outfit in their UEFA Champions League Group E opener at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Wednesday night.

The presence of the terrific trio - Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez - upfront, is believed to make things hard for the home team. However, the home support from a soldout Stadio Olimpico can boost the Italian side.

The Spanish champions got the better of Roma as they defeated the Italian side by a 3-0 margin last month in the Joan Gamper trophy game. However, in a competitive tournament, the three-time Serie A champions have a better record against Barcelona.

Roma have registered a win from the two competitive games the sides have faced over the years. It was 14 years ago in the Champions League that Roma notched a win and a draw against the Catalans. 

"Last month's Joan Gamper Trophy game is no guide to what will happen," Enrique said in the pre-match presser.

"I expect a Roma side like the one I saw in Serie A against Juventus [Roma's 2-1 home win in August] – a strong team that knows how to press, knows how to play the ball and has players of great quality, able to create dangerous situations at any time," he added.

Rudi Garcia, head coach of Roma, has mentioned that his team's opponents are not easy ones by any means, and he has urged his men to play against the European champions in the first leg game of the group with humility and ambition.

Garcia's side notched two wins from three games in the Serie A this season, which includes a win against arch-rivals Juventus. "Barcelona are defending European champions. If they aren't the best in the world, they are certainly among the best. We'll play with humility and ambition. We want to qualify, and this is the first of six games in which we will do our very best to get points," Garcia said.

"We will have to play as a team, in defence and attack. We will give it everything and work for each other, and use the ball properly when we attack. Lionel Messi? He is one of the best players in the world – probably the best," the Frenchman added.

Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen take on Belarusian side Bate in the other Group E game of the night.

Last three results (all competitions):

Roma - W W D

Barcelona - W W W

(D - Draw, W - Win)

Team News:

Roma - Former Arsenal custodian Wojciech Szczęsny will start the match, alongside former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko. Daniele De Rossi and former Barca midfielder Seydou Keita are also expected to start the game. Miralem Pjanić will however not be a part of the game as he is in the sidelines with an ankle injury.

Barcelona - Defenders Dani Alves, Douglas and Thomas Vermaelen will not be a part of the game owing to injuries. However, Enrique will have a full strength squad at his disposal, with the likes of Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, and Gerard Piqué, all fit to play.

The Roma vs Barcelona match kicks-off at 8.45pm CET (12.15am IST, 7.45pm BST, 2.45pm ET).

Where to Watch Live

Get All the Scores, Results and Report HERE

In India, the game can be watched live & exclusive on Ten Action, with the option of live streaming for India (and the rest of the subcontinent) on

UK viewers can catch the game on BT Sport Extra 1/BT Sport Showcase, while the online live stream option is onWatch BT Sport Live. The BT Sport app will also show the match Live.

US audience can catch the game on Fox Deportes, Fox Sports 1 USA, ESPN Deportes Radio, with the option of live streaming on FoxSoccer2Go and Fox Sports GO.

Audience in Spain can stream the game Live on beIN Sports Connect Spain and beIN Sports Spain.

PremiumSport HD will be providing live streaming for viewers in Italy.

Also read
Quick Links