FC Barcelona will be looking for the win that will take them through to the next round of the Champions League when they take on Spartak Moscow tonight
The fifth game of the Champions League sees Barça visit Spartak Moscow, possibly needing just a point to qualify for the next round. Below we look at the team’s options and some other interesting facts about the game.
- Barça will be through to the next round if they win in Moscow. Second place at least will be guaranteed with a win and if Celtic (currently on 7 points) draw or lose away to Benfica in the group’s other games, they will virtually ensure first place.
- A draw would virtually see Barça through although it would open up the possibility of three teams tying for top spot (if Benfica beat Celtic and Barça and the Scottish side beat Spartak). Should Barça draw and Benfica fail to beat Celtic, Barça are through to the next round.
- FC Barcelona will be playing their eighth game in Russia and have so far won one game and drawn six.
- Only Valdés, Puyol and Xavi remain in the squad from the team who won in 2002/03.
- FC Barcelona will again face a Unai Emery side, with the Basque coach still without a win against Barça.
- Nicolás Pareja is suspended for Spartak, whilst Busquets is again available after his two match suspension.
- Alex Song is just one yellow card from suspension.
- Gerard Piqué was injured in the game against Spartak at the Camp Nou. That match ended 3-2 and Barça were without the injured Puyol, Jordi Alba and Iniesta, who are all available now.
-Spartak are currently fifth in the league with 19 points, ten points behind leaders CSKA after 16 games.
- The Croatian ref Ivan Bebek will be in charge of the game – his fifth in the Champions League and the first time he has reffed either FC Barcelona or Spartak.