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Tuesday , 21 August 2018
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Barcelona aim to seal R16 spot, Atletico look to stay alive in CL

Madrid, Nov 21 (IANS) Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona both have vital Champions League matches on Wednesday, but while the latter’s European future is very much in their hands, Atletico need to win and hope that results elsewhere go their way.

Barcelona travel to Turin to face Juventus with 10 points from their four group matches so far although they could still miss out on a place in the last 16, reports Xinhua news agency.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has travelled with the same squad that won in Leganes at the weekend to maintain their unbeaten start in the La Liga, although he is still without the injured Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha.

He could also make some changes to his starting 11 with a vital league game in Valencia on Sunday with Paulinho and Lucas Digne perhaps starting, while Thomas Vermaelen could get minutes if he is to replace the suspended Gerard Pique in Valencia.

Atletico entertain Roma in a far more desperate situation: Diego Simeone’s side take on the Italians in the middle of a clear crisis in terms of football which has seen them fail to score more than one goal in their last 10 matches.

Failure to beat Roma would see them eliminated from the Champions League and would even place third place and the consolation of a place in the Europa League in peril. As things stand Atletico have just three points from four games and need to win both of their remaining games, while hoping that Roma and Chelsea fail to beat group minnows Qarabag in order to continue.

Antoine Griezmann will be the centre of attention again on Wednesday night due to the striker’s poor form and apparent flirtation with a move to either Paris, Manchester or Barcelona, which saw him booed off the park during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Real Madrid.

Saturday showed that Atletico are still working as a defensive unit, but the problems are at the other ends of the pitch and Simeone is running out of time to resolve them.

–IANS
pur/vm
Post Source: Ians feed

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