Barcelona vs AntwerpUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Sep 19, 2023, Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
Barcelona begin their campaign in Group H of the UEFA Champions League with a home clash against Belgian side Antwerp. The Catalans have looked imperious at the start of the season and should have too much quality for the debutants.
Barcelona have a storied history in the Champions League but their recent forays into the competition have been disappointing. They have failed to progress beyond the group stage in the last two seasons and will be looking to avoid similar problems this time around.
The Catalans are heavy favourites to win Group H and come into Tuesday’s opener in superb form. Xavi’s men have made a fine start to the season and are unbeaten in La Liga this season, winning their last four matches.
Barcelona are renowned for their attacking prowess and have impressed going forward this season. They have scored at least two goals in each of their last four matches and come into this fixture off the back of a 5-0 victory over Real Betis in a La Liga clash last Saturday.
Antwerp are making their debut in the group stage of the Champions League after doing the double over Greek side AEK Athens in the playoffs. Mark Van Bommel’s men claimed a 1-0 victory at home before traveling to Greece for a 2-1 win in the second leg.
The Belgian champions head into Tuesday’s Group H opener in five form as they are unbeaten in their last six matches across all competitions. They have claimed four wins in that run, including a 3-0 victory over Westerloo in a Jupiler Pro League fixture last weekend.
Antwerp could not have asked for a more difficult clash in their first ever group stage clash in the Champions League. It is quite the step up as they had never even played in the qualifiers prior to this season and crashed out at the playoff stage in the Europa League last year.
How the bookies view it
Barcelona are considered overwhelming favourites among the bookies with a home win priced at 1/5 by bet365. An unlikely victory for Antwerp is valued at 16/1 by Coral while a draw is set at odds of 6/1 by BoyleSports.
Head to head
This will be the first ever meeting between Barcelona and Antwerp.
Players to watch
Robert Lewandowski has found the net in his last three matches for Barcelona and is priced at 4/7 by bet365 to maintain his scoring run. Ferran Torres has also impressed this season and with three goals in four La Liga appearances, could be backed to find the net once again at 13/8 with bet365.
Barcelona have struck a fine balance between attack and defence and have kept clean sheets in seven of their last eight home matches. The center-back partnership of Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde continues to impress and both men can lead the Catalans to another clean sheet at 19/20 with 10bet.
Anything else catch the eye?
Given Barcelona’s defensive prowess in recent times, a win to nil could be considered at 11/10 with BetVictor. Having scored five goals against Betis last weekend, the Catalans can be backed in the -2 handicap market at 13/10 with BoyleSports.
Barcelona are expected to be dominant on Tuesday and can be tipped to win both halves at 5/4 with William Hill.
This UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Antwerp will be played on Sep 19, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Barcelona vs Antwerp prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.