Barcelona

Barcelona in Champions League: group, games, schedule, dates and opponents, prediction

Barcelona face Juventus, Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencváros in Group G. How will the legend of 1992, Ronald Koeman, fare in his first Champions League campaign in charge?

Barcelona in Champions League: group, games, schedule, dates and opponents, prediction
PATRIK STOLLARZ AFP

Barcelona's last game in the Champions League was one of the worst in the history of the famous football club. A 8-2 hammering from eventual winners Bayern Munich humiliated everyone involved at the club. Several members of that team and head coach Quique Setién have since left. The clearout began immediately, with Ronald Koeman coming in to try and steady the Catalan ship. Messi attempted to leave, but subsequently stayed, which gives fans some relief and a glimmer of hope in the early stages of the 2020-21 season. Club veterans Luis Suárez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic all departed. Sergiño Dest signed from Ajax and Miralem Pjanic from Juventus, who join Barcelona in Group G of the Champions League.

New boss Koeman was the hero in Barcelona's European success in 1992 at Wembley. A 25-yard free-kick nine minutes from the end of extra-time enabled Barcelona to overcome Sampdoria 's stifling defences and bring the Champions League trophy back to Camp Nou for the first time.

Barcelona not Champions League favourites

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Hungarian side Ferencváros on Tuesday night, head coach Ronald Koeman admitted his side are not favourites for the competition.

"At Barcelona, you have to play to win titles, domestically and in Europe. But there are strong teams and you have to prove your credentials. After what has happened [at the club] we’re not the favourites, but we can go far. Winning is always important after a defeat and it’s our first game in the Champions League. Winning at home is important, and away."

Barcelona, Juventus, Ferencváros and Dynamo Kyiv in Group G

Lionel Messi taking on Cristiano Ronaldo means all eyes will be on Group G in this year's Champions League group stages. The two best players in the world meet once again, after pitting their wits against one another for years in LaLiga. New boss Andrea Pirlo will be hoping his side don't fall at the first hurdle and progress to the last 16 of the competition. Koeman will be expected to take Barcelona down the same path. In the 13 previous meetings in European competition between Barcelona and Juventus, the record is four wins for Barça, five for the Italians and four draws.

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-DYK-JUV/PREVIEWSoccer Football - Champions League - Juventus Press Conference - NSC Olympiyskiy, Kyiv, Ukraine - October 19, 2020 Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo during the press conference REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Ferencváros beat Molde of Norway on away goals to advance to their first UEFA Champions League since 1995–96, and they will take on Barcelona for the first time in their history. Dynamo Kyiv have won 14 Ukrainian league titles since the country became independent. Barça have generally had the upper hand when up against Kyiv, but the encounter in 1997 still haunts culés who remember the first half hat-trick from legendary striker Andriy Shevchenko at Camp Nou, which ended Barça’s hopes of progressing.

Barcelona Champions League Group G fixtures

20 October: Barcelona vs Ferencváros

28 Octover: Juventus vs Barcelona

4 November: Barcelona vs Dynamo Kyiv

24 November: Dynamo Kyiv vs Barcelona

2 December: Ferencváros vs Barcelona

8 December: Barcelona vs Juventus

Prediction

Barcelona and Juventus are expected to take the top two places in Group G and advance to the knockout stages of this year's Champions League, meanwhile Hungarian champions Ferencváros and Ukrainian powerhouse Dynamo Kyiv can be expected to battle it out for the Europa League spot. Juventus will be looking for revenge for the 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in the 2015 final, when Rakitic, Suárez and Neymar scored the goals on a famous night for the Blaugrana in Berlin.