UEFA Champions League: Spartak Moscow vs Barcelona Preview

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UCL: Spartak Moscow vs Barcelona Preview
Moscow, Nov 20: Barcelona look to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at Celtic when they visit the Luzhniki Stadium to face Spartak Moscow on Tuesday.

Bottom of Group G, Unai Emery's side have little to showcase as the Spanish coach failed to win against the Catalans in 14 previous attempts, recently a 3-2 defeat at Camp Nou in September.

However, a win in Moscow would take them through but in case Benfica fail to beat Celtic in the other Group clash, a draw is sufficient for Barca.

On matchday 4, Barca were beaten 2-1 at Celtic but still maintained top-spot with nine points, two above the Scottish giants. Spartak are currently bottom of the group with only one win in four games and need to win both their remaining games with other results going in their favour.

Spartak have an injury crisis ahead of Tuesday's clash. The Russians are without third-choice goal-keeper Artem Rebrov as Andriy Dikan and Sergei Pesyakov remain on the sidelines.

A number of strikers and key attacking players are also unavailable namely Artem Dzyuba, Sergei Parshivlyuk, Dimiyar Bilyaletdinov, Romulo and former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady.

Meanwhile, Tito Vilanova will welcome back defenders Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol after a disappointing 2-1 loss at Celtic. The centre-backs played during the 3-1 win over Real Zaragoza and are likely to start against Spartak.

David Villa is likely to feature after Alexis Sanchez was ruled out for four weeks but winger Cristian Tello will be fighting for a place on the left wing.

Trivia:

*Lionel Messi is seven goals short of Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year.

*Spartak Moscow Unai Emery has not won against Barcelona in 14 previous attempts.

Probable Lineups:

Spartak Moscow (4-2-3-1): Chernyshuk-Makeev, Bryzgalov, Suchy, Kombarov-Rafael, Kallstrom-Jurado, Ari, Gorbatenko-Emenike.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes-Alves, Puyol, Pique, Alba-Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi-Pedro, Messi, Villa.

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