FC Barcelona vs PSV Eindhoven
Date: Tuesday, 18th September 2018
Kick-off at 17:55 UK/ 18:55 CET
Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona).
Barcelona are one of the favourites for a very good reason. They have seen the dominant force that is Real Madrid lose their talisman over the summer, but the Catalan superpowers retain the loyalty of Lionel Messi, with him part of a front three that also boasts Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.
As you can expect, this attacking force can be devastating. They have played just four league matches so far this season but they have already racked up 14 goals, including an 8-2 demolition of Huesca before the international break. Their talented front three account for ten of these goals, and the chances of PSV being able to deal with the swarming attacks are very low indeed.
PSV aren’t exactly lacking in form though. They have already played their part in eight competitive games this season, and since their goalless draw and penalty defeat in the Dutch Super Cup they have won every game. This includes a 6-2 aggregate win over BATE in the Champions League playoff round five game winning streak in the Eredivisie.
Like their opponents, PSV have been terrifying in attack. They have scored a ridiculous 27 goals in their last seven games, and have upped the ante even more in September with a 6-1 thrashing of Willem II and a 7-0 thumping of ADO Den Haag.
It is likely to be an almost impossible job to keep Barcelona at bay, but with talents such as Steven Bergwijn and Hirving Lozano they can at least be confident of dealing some damage against a fairly vulnerable Barcelona back line. The Camp Nou outfit have conceded in each of their last two games and in seven of their last 14 Champions League outings.
PSV might not have the recent European pedigree, but they can look back on a record of scoring in 21 of their 25 competitive away days since the start of last season. The Dutch visitors getting anything out of the game seems a stretch too far, but we can definitely see them finding the net on Tuesday. For this reason, a Barcelona Win and Both Teams to Score looks great value along with a 3-1 correct score predictions.
Barcelona vs PSV Eindhoven Head-to-head
The teams met 6 times overall in UEFA competitions and Barcelona are slightly ahead with 2 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss.
Their last duel back in 1997 Champions League group stage produced two entertaining draws with similar 2-2 ft score-line.
All their six matches saw at least 3 goals.
Meantime, both teams scored in the latest 5, the same games saw over 3.5 goals.
Barca’s home record against PSV is 1 win and 2 draws from 3 games so far.
Barcelona are unbeaten against Dutch clubs at home, 5 wins and 3 draws from 8 games.
PSV haven’t registered a win in Spanish soil as of yet, drew 5 and lost 9 of 14.
Barcelona boss Valverde left Sergio Busquets and Philippe Coutinho out of his starting XI for Saturday's La Liga clash with Real Sociedad, but the pair are expected to return to the XI for this match.
Nelson Semedo should drop out of the team to see Sergi Roberto start at right-back, while it will again be Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele in the final third of the field.
Dembele has now scored in each of his last three appearances for Barcelona as the Frenchman settles into life at Camp Nou, and will now looking to make an impact in the Champions League.
PSV, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a thumping 7-0 win over ADO Den Haag in the league at the weekend.
Head coach Van Bommel could look to alter his formation at Camp Nou, but it is unlikely that Lozano, Luuk de Jong or Steven Bergwijn will be dropped due to their blistering form this season.
Dutch goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet has recently been linked with a move to Barcelona, and the 27-year-old will start behind a back four which will include both Nick Viergever and Spaniard Angelino.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Coutinho, Raktic; Dembele, Suarez, Messi.
PSV Eindhoven: Zoet; Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever, Angelino; Rosario, Periero, Hendrix; Lozano, L De Jong, Bergwijn.
Barcelona will be overwhelming favourites, and anything less than a convincing win for last season's La Liga champions will be a huge surprise. The Catalan's have not lost a home match in the Champions League group stage since 2009, so the fans and players of the side will have supreme confidence.
For PSV, the match is an exciting prospect to prove themselves against the best. However, even the most optimistic of fans will acknowledge that it will be a huge task for PSV to qualify for the knockout stages ahead of Tottenham or Inter.
Barcelona vs PSV Eindhoven Betting Tips
Barcelona to score Over 2.5 goals at 1.50 (2/5)
HT/FT – Barcelona/Barcelona @ 1.40 (2/5).