Read AS Roma vs Barcelona preview as Messi, Suarez, Neymar visit Italy to face Dzeko and co in the Champions League on September 16, 2015.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique will meet his former club in A.S. Roma, having led the club in 2011/12. He left after a season as his side finished seventh in Serie A and did not qualify for Europe. Enrique’s record at Roma was 17 wins, 16 losses and nine draws.
He’s fared much better with Barcelona, who are in undefeated in La Liga after three matches. The defending treble winners haven’t faced Roma since 2001/02, and are 2-3-2 in seven all-time meetings against the Italian side.
The last European Champions League campaign was something of a disappointment for Roma, but they return for consecutive appearances in the competition for the first time since the 2011 season. Last season they had a difficult Group, but Roma had put themselves in a position to qualify which they blew late and the expectation will be higher this time around.
A positive start to Serie A coupled with Juventus’ early struggles will have some fans believing Roma can win the title, but they can’t afford to be distracted from the Champions League. Roma earned 4 points from their first two Champions League Group games last season, but 3 losses in 4 games, including back to back defeats at home cost them and sent them into the Europa League.
They have also failed to win any of their last 4 European home games and Roma have lost 3 of those, although confidence shouldn’t be a problem for a side that are unbeaten in 3 and have won back to back games coming into this one. Roma have won 4 of their last 6 home games in all competitions and importantly have beaten Juventus 2-1 here this season.
The reigning Champions League winners Barcelona will begin their campaign to become the first team in over twenty-five years to win the top trophy in European football in consecutive seasons. It has proven difficult for the top teams to maintain the form to do that, but Barcelona have as good a chance as any in the last quarter of a century and they are expected to pass the first step with relative comfort.
There won’t be much for Barcelona to fear from a Group containing Roma, Bayer Leverkusen and BATE Borisov and anything less than a top spot finish would be a big surprise. After all, this is a team that has only lost 1 of their last 11 Champions League games and have won 10 of those games. Barcelona had won 4 in a row away from home in this competition before a 3-2 loss at Bayern Munich in the Semi Final Second Leg last season.
A come from behind win at Atletico Madrid on Saturday means Barcelona have won all 3 La Liga games played this season as they head into the start of the Champions League. Barcelona have won 18 of their last 21 away games in all competitions and they have bounced back from an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup to win at the same ground and at Atletico Madrid.