CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - Barcelona vs Olympiacos - @7:45pm (18/10/2017)

at 09:13 AM, 17/10/2017 (11 months ago)
(5555 | Gistmaniac) (m)

For the first time since playing to an empty stadium in protest at a violent crackdown of an independence referendum in Catalonia, Barcelona's Camp Nou opens its doors when Olympiakos visit on Wednesday.

On the field, Barca should have little problem sweeping aside an Olympiakos side without a point in the Uefa Champions League so far this season to consolidate their position atop Group D.

However, how Barca's fans will react to a tumultuous few weeks of political tension in Catalonia is less predictable with the support split like the rest of society on wealthy northeastern region of Spain.

"What we like is playing and enjoying ourselves in a spectacular atmosphere like today," said Iniesta after Barca's 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Barca's first visit to the capital since the escalation of the political divide was expected to provoke a hostile welcome for the visitors. However, other than the waving of more Spanish flags than normal at Atletico matches and some jeers for Pique, the match passed off peacefully.

"It was a great game, in a great atmosphere, in a great stadium," said Barca manager Ernesto Valverde.

Despite a series of distractions on and off the field, including the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and calls for Bartomeu to resign on top of the Catalonia crisis, Barca have started impressively under Valverde.

A run of nine straight wins in the Primera Liga and Champions League was ended on Saturday, but Barca are heavy favourites to get back to winning ways against one of Valverde's former clubs.



ruthie at 06:19 PM, 17/10/2017 (11 months ago)
(17255 | Hero) (f)
BARCA .....
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