Barcelona vs Viktoria Plzen predictions and match preview for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League fixture. Read on for analysis and predicted lineups as Xavi’s side target a winning start in Europe this season.
|Wednesday 7th September 2022
|21:00 (local time)
|UEFA Champions League
Barcelona vs Viktoria Plzen Preview
Champions League football is back at Camp Nou for another season and Barcelona start with what should be the easiest of their six group games. They welcome Czech side Viktoria Plzen to the Catalan capital and three points will be expected.
Xavi will be content with how his side have started the season with 10 points from 4 league games so far. Barcelona are not the finished product yet and there have been cracks at times, notably in the opening fifteen minutes at Sevilla last weekend. Defensively they were caught out time and time again with the Andalusian side getting in behind but Barça rode the early storm and in the end dominated the game, winning 3-0 with Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Eric Garcia on target.
Lewandowski already feels like a real figurehead for this team but Xavi has persisted with leaving out some of his other more experienced players. It’ll be interesting to see whether Jordi Alba or Gerard Pique rotates in here. We are now entering a really busy period in the season where Xavi will need to use his squad and while he’ll give Viktoria Plzen and Saturday’s opponents Cadiz respect, he will surely also have one eye on next Tuesday’s trip to Munich when he will need his best XI fit and firing.
You would expect Barça, Bayern and Inter to fight it out for the two qualification places in this group. Viktoria Plzen couldn’t really have got a much tougher draw and will be expected to make up the numbers, having already had to win three qualifiers just to reach this stage. They’ve successfully seen off HJK, Sheriff Tiraspol and Qarabag and remain unbeaten this term in all competitions having also won their last five league games.
They may relish their outsiders tag though and did face Spanish opposition the last time they reached the UCL group stage in 2018/19 when they suffered 2-1 and 5-0 defeats against Real Madrid. They have a different coach now with Michal Bílek guiding them to the Czech title last season but they will travel to Camp Nou more in hope than expectation.
Possible Lineups (via Sofascore)
Score Prediction: Barcelona 4-0 Viktoria Plzen
This should only really go one way. Barcelona are playing with confidence and scoring freely and they have sufficient strength in depth to rotate lightly here and still win this game by some margin. Xavi is unlikely to take too many chances though as he will be keen to lay down an early marker after Barcelona’s disastrous group stage campaign last season.
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