Having already ensured qualification for the second phase, FC Barcelona are in Nicosia to continue putting pressure on current Group F leaders Paris Saint-Germain. But Luis Enrique will need to lead the team to their first ever victory in Cyprus. The two previous visits ended in draws, 1-1 in 1982 with Apollon Limassol and 0-0 in 1996 with AEK Larnaca. But as the adage goes, it could be third time lucky!
The game in Nicosia (8.45 PM CET) is the first of three consecutive away trips in three different competitions for Barça. When they return from Cyprus, they’ll start preparing for the game in Valencia (Sunday 30 at 9.00 PM CET) and after that they have a cup tie at Huesca (Wednesday 3 at 10.00 PM CET.
Luis Enrique has taken 22 players with him. The only members of the first team to stay at home are Vermaelen and Iniesta, although four of those players will have to be dropped from the definitive match squad.
Barça’s opponents have no hope of reaching the last sixteen, but third place in the group would still win them a berth in the Europa League. But with just one point to their name, the Cypriots are struggling, and they have failed to find the net in any of their last three official outings.