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Played
November 20, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki — Moskva
Referee:‬ I. Bebek‎
Attendance:‬ 67325‎
 
 
Daniel Alves 16′
 
Messi 27′
 
Messi 39′

Spartak Moscow - Barcelona Preview: Injury-hit hosts face tall order against Catalan giants

The Russians' coach Unai Emery, who has not got the greatest record against the Blaugrana, will have his work cut out here with a number key players missing for their crucial game

By Craig Turnbull

Emmanuel Emenike, Spartak Moscow
Getty Images
  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SPARTAK MOSCOW

Chernyshuk
Makeev, Bryzgalov, Suchy, Kombarov
Rafael, Kallstrom
Jurado, Ari, Gorbatenko
Emenike
BARCELONA

Valdes
Alves, Puyol, Pique, Alba
Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi
Pedro, Messi, Villa


Spartak Moscow have an injury crisis ahead of their crunch match with Group G table-toppers Barcelona.

The Russians have a goalkeeping dilemma, with third-choice Artem Rebrov now also ruled out having suffered an injury in Unai Emery's men's 1-1 draw with Volga at the weekend. He now joins Andriy Dikan and Sergei Pesyakov on the sidelines.

Also missing for the hosts is strikers Artem Dzyuba and Welliton while skipper Sergei Parshivlyuk, Russia international Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Brazil midfielder Romulo and Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady are unavailable.

Argentine defender Nicolas Pareja is suspended for the bottom of the table side who need a good result here to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages.

Meanwhile, Tito Vilanova will be looking for a response from his Barcelona team after falling to a shock 2-1 defeat to Celtic on Matchday 4.

The Catalans welcomed back Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol at the weekend where the Blaugrana disposed of Zaragoza 3-1 and it would be surprising if the pair did not start in the Russian capital.

One defender who is definitely ruled out is 21-year-old Marc Bartra, while attacker Alexis Sanchez is missing for up to four weeks after returning from international duty with Chile injured.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Spartak Moscow coach Unai Emery has the unenviable record against Barcelona having not won in his last 14 attempts versus the visitors.
  • The hosts 2-1 victory over Benfica on Matchday 4 was just their second win in 16 attempts at home in the Group stages.
  • The hosts' record in the last 12 home games against Spanish opposition reads W3 D6 L3.
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi (pictured, right) is now just seven behind Gerd Muller's record of most goals in a calender year, having scored a double against Zaragoza at the weekend which takes his tally to 78.
  • The Argentina international is the fourth top goalscorer in Champions League history behind Andriy Shevchenko Ruud van Nistelrooy and Raul.
  • The Catalan giants with their win on Saturday equalled Real Madrid's 1991-92 record of 34 points from a possible 36 in La Liga - the best ever start to a Primera Division campaign.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 20, 2012 Spartak 0 - FC Barcelona 3
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Sep 19, 2012 FC Barcelona 3 - Spartak 2
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
81Andriy DykanGoalkeeper
29Juan Manuel InsaurraldeDefender
17Marek SuchyDefender
16Evgeniy MakeevDefender
5Rafael CariocaMidfielder
77Kirill KombarovDefender
18JuradoMidfielder
29Kim KällströmMidfielder
99Dmitriy KombarovMidfielder
9AriStriker
29EmenikeStriker
-Sergey ChernyshukGoalkeeper
-Sergey BryzgalovDefender
-Emin MakhmudovMidfielder
20Demy de ZeeuwMidfielder
27Zhano AnanidzeMidfielder
25WellitonStriker
14Pavel YakovlevStriker
1Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
3PiquéDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
10MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
5Carles PuyolDefender
2MontoyaDefender
12Jonathan Dos SantosMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
9David VillaStriker
10Gerard DeulofeuStriker
Players to Watch
Emenike
Emenike
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 29
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 1 0
Having just recovered from injury, the onus is on the Nigerian to display the kind of predatory instincts which got him his goal against Celtic earlier on in the competition. But, up against a back-to-full strength Barcelona defence, it certainly will not be easy.
Messi
Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
7 8 0 0
What more can be said about this incredible talent who is now only seven off Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in one calendar year. Lightning quick, and always seem to be half-a-yard ahead of his opponents, the Argentina international may well fancy his chances to cut the Germany legend's lead further on Tuesday against a depleted Spartak side.
Prediction
This would be a difficult game for the Russians with a full-strength side but with an injury-ravaged squad and the dilemma of who to put in goal against the free-scoring Catalans, it will be an almost impossible mission. Expect plenty of goals here with Tito Vilanova's men still not assured of progression to the knock-out stages.
Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
6 2