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Barcelona-Sporting |Confirmed lineups — Ucl live
06 Diciembre 2017, 12:13 | Cornelio Vivanco
Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez: Great win for fringe players
That is not the case however, for Jorge Jesus's men, who cannot afford to lose this game should they wish to even stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds. When they played the rematch on Nov. 22, they fought to a 0-0 draw.
Barcelona need just one point out of this match to make sure that they win the group, which is a very comfortable place to be in.
Cristiano Piccini made a sensational last-second clearance to deny Alcacer, who was involved early, and Bruno Fernandes fired Sporting's first shot on target into the waiting hands of Jasper Cillessen. Fernandes totaled 21 points in his last Champions League match against Olympiacos after finding the back of the net, and this was due in part due to the high floor he has through his shot taking volume and crossing ability.
Bas Dost did have another opportunity to snatch a point, only to volley wide unmarked inside the box, while Messi saw a curler pushed aside by Patricio late on. Lisbon will likely come out on the attacking front, as a victory will boost their chances of securing second place.
Indeed it was a fairly lacklustre affair with Paco Alcacer's goal just before the hour and a Jeremy Mathieu own goal in stoppage time just two of a few opportunities for either side throughout the 90 minutes.
Manchester United are expected to secure their progression at home to CSKA Moscow, while Premier League rivals Chelsea can join them. Sebastian Coates will be available for selection having served his suspension as well.
The Blaugrana continued to threaten at the other end, with Messi uncharacteristically firing wide in the 74th minute before forcing a fine save from Patrício with a curling shot in the 82nd. We lead La Liga with the best stats for both attack and defence, and we have already won the Champions League group before playing the last match.
- Meanwhile, Barcelona are unbeaten in their 10 Champions League games against Portuguese opposition (W8 D2).
Both teams made changes after the goal, with Lionel Messi entering the fray. His last goal dates back to March 2017 against Paris SG.
11 - This is the 11th consecutive season that Barcelona have finished top of their Champions League group, the longest streak in the competition's history. Barca hosts Portugal's Sporting CP at Camp Nou for this final group stage match and it's going to be a fun one. You have to feel sorry for him - if he didn't tuck it away from Denis Suarez's cross, Alcacer certainly would have.
A draw or a loss would essentially result in them heading to the Europa League instead.
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Plus it can't have been easy for Raheem with people saying he could be a makeweight in City's attempt to sign Alexis Sanchez . The pass, like a pitching wedge on the golf course, was inevitably perfect. "[Silva] felt uncomfortable after his goal".
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Forward Calvert-Lewin, meanwhile, benefited from his second start in a week to deliver a strong performance leading the line. Huddersfield have lost six of their last eight Premier League games after losing just one of their first six.