Barca, Atletico with different needs in Tuesday's Champions League ties

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-04 20:51:02|Editor: Yamei
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MADRID, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are both in Champions League action on Tuesday night and both sides have different needs from their respective matches.

While Barcelona entertain Sporting Club de Portugal assured of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition as group winners, Atletico have to win away to Chelsea and they hope that Roma fail to win at home to group minnows Qarabag.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde will be without central defender Samuel Umtiti for around 2 months after the French international tore a muscle against Celta Vigo at the weekend, while Javier Mascherano, who is also out through injury, has said that his time at Barca is coming to an end.

Valverde will have to decide whether to risk Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen, his only fit central defenders until the end of December, or look for alternatives, with perhaps B-team center-half David Costas given a chance.

Meanwhile Paco Alcacer, Nelson Semedo and Lucas Digne will all be hoping to start as the coach rotates his squad ahead of next weekend' s visit to face Villarreal.

Sporting still have the chance of reaching the next phase of the competition, but need to win and for Juventus to fail to beat Olympiakos in their game.

Atletico are another side whose destiny is not in their own hands, but a recent upturn in form will see them travel in hope of getting a positive result from Stamford Bridge, especially as Chelsea have already assured their place in the next round.

Antoine Griezmann has returned to his former goal-scoring ways, while Koke's return from injury has given the midfield greater creative spark and the Atletico defense remains as mean as ever.

Simeone's men are certain to give all they have got from the start in London, although the result in Rome could well condition some aspects of the game as time progresses.