We witnessed what happened against Sevilla on Saturday. Barcelona almost loses the game before Messi came to rescue in dying minutes. Sevilla had 20 shots on the target, although they converted only two. If they have been more clinical, even Messi wouldn’t have saved Barcelona. AS Roma must have watched that game and they must be wary about Lionel Messi’s threat, but they also know how they can hurt Barcelona with their chances. Barcelona minor hiccups will open the door for AS Roma.
Each team facing Barcelona knows that they’ll have their chances. That’s how Barcelona play. They will defend high on the pitch to maintain their possession and allow room for opponents to stretch forward from wing positions. On a good day, an average team has a chance against the La Liga leaders. They only need to be more clinical with their shots.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) April 3, 2018
Roma needs to take their chances. And I’m sure with Edin Dzeko leading at front complemented by Stephan El Shaarawy pace on the wings will cause problems for Barcelona. Diego Perotti and Kevin Strootman’s role will be vital for Roma movement in absence of Radja Nainggolan. The real battle will be between Daniel De Rossi and Sergio Busquets in their distribution of the ball.
Of course, Messi will be the difference. But that superiority can be lessened with an early strike. Roma being an underdog is an advantageous position playing away game first. if they can get something positive out of it, Giallorossi fans will make the difference at home in second-leg.
An early away goal always helps in Uefa Champions League knockout matches. You only need one early strike to cause problems for your opponent. It won’t be easy at Camp Nou against Barcelona, but if you forget the crowd and atmosphere there and focus on the game, it always helps. Barcelona are vulnerable at the start of a high pressing game. If you start with the high tempo, it takes them time to settle down.
Roma need to make the most of the initial minutes before Barcelona’s A-list players start dominating the game. They only need to produce minor hiccups for Barcelona, and the door will open for them. Some teams have proved in last few seasons that they can cause problems to Barcelona and they did. Teams like Levante, Leganes, Celta de Vigo and Real Sociedad have troubled them. AS Roma has lot better team than them to cause minor hiccups for Barcelona.