Barcelona is set to host Royal Antwerp at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in their opening match of the UEFA Champions League campaign on Tuesday.
This marks the 20th consecutive season that the hosts have participated in the competition, while it represents the visitors’ inaugural appearance in the group stage. The visitors secured their spot in the group through the playoffs, defeating AEK Athens with a 3-1 aggregate score.
Barcelona recently resumed their La Liga campaign after the international break with a convincing 5-0 victory over Real Betis at home on Saturday. Robert Lewandowski found the net for the third consecutive game, while Joao Felix notched his first goal for the club.
Similarly, the visitors marked their return from the international break with a win, comfortably defeating Westerlo with a 3-0 victory on the road. Vincent Janssen contributed to the scoresheet, increasing his goal tally in the Belgian Pro League to five.
Barcelona vs Antwerp kick-off time & stadium
- Competition: UEFA Champions League
- Game Day: Tuesday, September 19, 2023
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST / 15:00 ET / 12:00 PT
- Stadium: Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona
- Referee: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
- VAR: Catalin Popa (ROU)
How to watch Barcelona vs Antwerp online – TV channels & live streams
|TV channel/live stream
|TNT Sports 4, discovery+ App, discovery+
|TUDN.com, ViX, Univision NOW, Paramount+, Univision, TUDN App, TUDN USA
|Club RTL, RTL Play, VTM 2, Proximus Pickx
Team news & squads
In this matchup, Barcelona will still be missing Ronald Araujo and Pedri, but they have received a boost from Ilkay Gundogan’s appearance during Saturday evening’s game. Additionally, Fermin Lopez is back in contention after serving a league suspension over the weekend. Joao Felix, who made a strong impression during his full Barcelona debut against Real Betis on Saturday, is expected to maintain his position in the lineup.
Barcelona predicted lineup (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Cancelo, Kounde, Christensen, Balde; De Jong, Romeu, Gavi; Torres, Lewandowski, Felix
On the other hand, Antwerp will be without several players as they prepare for their inaugural Champions League fixture. Their entry into Group H comes after defeating AEK Athens over two legs in the qualifying rounds.
Antwerp predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Butez; Bataille, Alderweireld, Coulibaly, Wijndal; Vermeeren, Keita; Balikwisha, Ekkelenkamp, Kerk; Janssen
Barcelona vs Antwerp Prediction
The Blaugrana are on a four-game winning streak, netting 13 goals while conceding four times in this period. Aside from Pedri, Xavi doesn’t have any major players missing. Ronald Araujo, though fit, is expected to start on the bench for this match. Barcelona’s deep squad will come in handy, allowing them to potentially make a few changes from their 5-0 victory on Saturday.
The Reds are stepping into the Champions League group stage for the first time, though they did participate in the inaugural round of the former European Cup in 1957 against Real Madrid. They are led by ex-Barca midfielder Mark van Bommel, who clinched the Champions League title with the Catalan club in 2006.
Taking into account the present performance level of the current Spanish champions and their superior track record in the Champions League, we anticipate them to secure a convincing 3-1 victory.