Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp Predicted Lineups: Will Lamine Yamal make UCL debut?

Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp Predicted Lineups – FC Barcelona get their UEFA Champions League campaign underway this Tuesday evening, when they host Belgian side Royal Antwerp at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys. Xavi Hernandez’s side are looking to extend their unbeaten streak against arguably the weakest team in Group H.

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Antwerp overcame AEK Athens in the qualifiers to reach the Promised Land of Europe’s top table. (Picture by Yannis Halas/Focus Images/Sipa USA 30/08/2023) – Photo by Icon sport

FC Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp Predicted Lineups and News

Barcelona have had an impressive start to their La Liga season, winning their last four matches and positioning themselves well in the title race with Real Madrid already. They are also determined to justify their ‘favourites’ tag from the group by starting their European campaign in a dominant fashion.

In Royal Antwerp, they face a side that sits in sixth place in the Belgian Pro League, but also one with the second-most goals (13) in the division so far. Antwerp have won two of their last three competitive games, including a 3-0 win over Belgian side Westerlo and won’t be any pushovers for Barcelona.

The Blaugrana are still haunted by group-stage eliminations from the UEFA Champions League in the last two seasons, and will aim to start exorcising those ghosts with a big win over Antwerp.

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Xavi took full responsibility for Barcelona’s group stage failure last term and seeks redemption. (Photo by Bagu Blanco / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport) – Photo by Icon sport

Team News: Barcelona

Xavi Hernandez will be without influential midfielder Pedri, who is expected to be out of action until October after sustaining a hamstring injury just before the start of the new season. Barcelona centre-back Ronald Araujo recently returned to training after recovering from his own injury issue, but he might not be risked in this game for fear of possibly triggering another issue.

Barcelona’s newest arrivals Joao Felix (on loan from Atletico Madrid) and Joao Cancelo (on loan from Manchester City) are both expected to make their European debuts for the club. Ilkay Gundogan should also be fit to play, while the club’s young sensation Lamine Yamal should also get his debut against Antwerp.

Barcelona’s Predicted Lineup

Marc Andre ter-Stegen, Joao Cancelo, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Alejandro Balde, Frenkie de Jong, Ilkay Gundogan, Gavi, Lamine Yamal, Joao Felix, Robert Lewandowski

Yamal is part of the Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp Predicted Lineups
Rodri Sanchez of Real Betis and Lamine Yamal of FC Barcelona during the La Liga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis played at Lluis Companys Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Bagu Blanco / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport) – Photo by Icon sport

Team News: Royal Antwerp

Antwerp have a few injuries of their own plaguing the squad right now. Their left-back Sam Vines missed the last game due to a knock and is unlikely to be fit for the upcoming clash. They are also going to be without two goalkeepers Ortwin de Wolf (finger injury) and Davino Verhulst (eye injury).

Apart from Vines, Mark van Bommel should be able to field the same set of players that defeated AEK Athens away from home in the Champions League qualifier playoff from last month.

Royal Antwerp Predicted Lineup

Jean Butez, Richie De Laet, Toby Alderweireld, Soumaila Coulibaly, Owen Wijndal, Mandela Keita, Arthur Vermeeren, Michel-Ange Balikwisha, Jurgen Ekkelenkamp, Arbnor Muja, Vincent Janssen

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Antwerp’s Toby Alderweireld pictured in action during a training session of Belgian soccer team Royal Antwerp FC, on Monday 18 September 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. The team is preparing for tomorrow’s game against FC Barcelona, on day 1 of the Champions League group stage. BELGA PHOTO TOM GOYVAERTS – Photo by Icon sport

Can Yamal have a dream Champions League debut?

Lamine Yamal has been a revelation for Barcelona this season, settling in perfectly as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele after he left for PSG. The Spaniard is breaking all kinds of records for club and country, having become the youngest player to assist a La Liga goal earlier this season in Barcelona’s 4-3 win over Villarreal.

He also became Spain’s youngest goalscorer in their win over Cyprus earlier this month. The 16-year-old is flying high on confidence and will make it his mission to have a dream Champions League debut, creating chances and lighting up the home crowd with his exciting playing style.

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