We all know about the lethal trident of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar but Wayne Girard believes that if the Giallorossi are to come away from the Nou Camp with a positive result, they’ll also need to look out Barca’s hottest players behind the limelight...
The marshal of Barca’s midfield, Busquets has an outstanding pass success rate of 92% in the Champions League and 90% in La Liga this season. Rudi Garcia will have to work out a way to stop him from supplying his team with passes from all over the pitch.
He leads Barcelona’s interception rate with almost four and three tackles per match but if Roma’s midfield can combine to create enough pressure in the middle, they could be able to squeeze Busquets’ influence out of the match. It will take a very-disciplined effort to do so though.
With three assists in La Liga and one goal in the Champions League, Sergio Roberto’s short passing and movement can be dizzying for any opposition. Just 23 years old, he is a product of La Masia and was coached in Barcelona B by his current boss and ex-Roma coach, Luis Enrique. His form compliments his growth this season - earning start after start thanks to his powerful performances.
He is an extremely versatile player, as Luis Enrique effectively uses him at wingback, as well as central midfield. Roma will have to pay extra attention to this star in the making - giving him the same amount of respect as they will for Barca’s elite.
Along with Busquets, Pique is a 2010 World Cup, Euro 2008 and 2012 champion. A center-back accustomed to stopping the trickiest of attackers, Roma will have to be at 100% in order to beat Pique’s defence. He is averaging 99 passes per match in the Champions League and wins almost four aerial-duels per match - the club high.
His ability to create an attack from the defence means Roma will have to be on high alert when Rudi Garcia sends players upfield. The Giallorossi counter-attack has worked well against Barca this season already and our wingers can cause trouble when the opportunity arises.