Matchday 1 of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League group stage will culminate on Wednesday, with eight matches on show on the day. Barcelona will be one of the teams in action, with the Blaugrana set to play hosts to Viktoria Plzen at the Spotify Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
Barcelona’s 2022/23 campaign has started superbly, with the Blaugrana winning three of the first four competitive fixtures. The only other outing ended in a goalless stalemate in their season opener, with Xavi Hernandez’s men often scoring goals for fun since then and rising to the second spot in La Liga.
The only other clashes between Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen ended in victories for the Catalan giants, in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage (2-0 at home and 4-0 away). Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Alonso’s absence means Alejandro Balde picks himself as the left-back, with Jules Kounde set to continue as the right-back. But Eric Garcia might get some rest against Viktoria Plzen, with Andreas Christensen in line to pair up with Ronald Araujo at the heart of the Barcelona defence, which will protect the in-form Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Frenkie de Jong might be in for a start against Viktoria Plzen, with Gavi earning some rest after a few excursions at the onset of the 2022/23 season. The Dutch midfielder will join Sergio Busquets and Pedri in the middle of the park.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde; de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Fati
Unlike his counterpart in the Barcelona dugout, Michal Bilek does not have a clean health bill ahead of the trip to the Spotify Camp Nou. The Viktoria Plzen manager will be without one first-team player on Wednesday, with Petr Pejsa recovering from a long-term knee injury.
Bilek prefers to line Viktoria Plzen in a 4-2-3-1 setup, and Jindrich Stanek will see his teammates take up a similar formation in front of him. Lukas Hejda and Ludek Pernica will form the central defensive partnership, with Libor Holik and Vaclav Jemelka starting as the two full-backs.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Stanek; Holik, Hejda, Pernica, Jemelka; Kalvach, Bucha; Kopic, Sykora, Mosquera; Chory