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Preview: Barcelona vs. Slavia Prague - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Barcelona vs. Slavia Prague - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Barcelona and Slavia Prague, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Barcelona will be looking to consolidate their spot at the top of Group F when they welcome Slavia Prague to Camp Nou in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Spanish champions have collected seven points from their three group matches to sit top of the section, while Slavia have only managed to collect a single point from their three fixtures thus far.

Match preview

Barca are going well in Group F, picking up seven points from their three matches thus far. As a result, only an incredible collapse would prevent them from reaching the round of 16, although a defeat on Tuesday night would certainly open the door as both Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund have four points.

The Spanish champions still have to go to an impressive Inter on matchday six, and therefore Ernesto Valverde will be keen for his team to tie up qualification in their next two matches.

Barca started Group F with a goalless draw at Dortmund before beating Inter and Slavia 2-1 in their next two matches. The Catalan giants have been in impressive form in recent weeks, but they will enter this match off the back of a 3-1 loss at Levante on Saturday afternoon.

Valverde's team are still top of La Liga with 22 points, but there is no question that all is not well at Camp Nou as the speculation surrounding their manager potentially leaving the club continues to gather pace.

Barca are the overwhelming favourites to triumph on Tuesday night, though, particularly when considering that they have not lost a home game in the Champions League since September 2013. What's more, the Spanish champions have won their last five matches against Czech opposition, scoring 15 times in the process.

It was always going to be difficult for Slavia to challenge for a top-three spot in Group F when they were drawn alongside Barca, Inter and Dortmund. Claiming third - and Europa League spot - would be seen as a huge success, but they will need to pick up some big results for that to happen.

The Czech outfit started their group campaign with an impressive 1-1 draw at Inter but have lost their last two matches at home to Dortmund and Barca, the latter of which was a 2-1 defeat on October 23.

This is just the second time that Slavia have been present in the group stages of the Champions League, with their last appearance coming 12 years ago. They did reach the quarter-finals of last season's Europa League, though, and impressed as they exited the competition to eventual winners Chelsea.

Unlike Barca, meanwhile, Slavia will enter this match off the back of an impressive league win. Indeed, the Red and Whites thumped Banik Ostrava 4-0 on Saturday to move 11 points clear at the top of the Czech Liga.

What's more, the Prague outfit have drawn their last three matches in Spain and have been beaten on only two of their last six visits, the last of which was a 2-2 draw at Sevilla in the Europa League last season.

Barcelona form: DWW

Slavia Prague form: DLL

Team News

Barca will again be without the services of Samuel Umtiti due to an ongoing knee problem, while Luis Suarez will miss out with a calf problem that he picked up against Levante at the weekend.

There is a chance that Ousmane Dembele could be recalled having been left out of the squad at the weekend, with the France international perhaps joining Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann in attack.

That said, Carles Perez and Ansu Fati are both viable options for Valverde, who is expected to recall both Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba after the pair were named on the bench against Levante.

As for Slavia, central defender David Hovorka remains a long-term absentee due to a knee injury, but Ibrahim Traore could feature for the first time in the Champions League since the clash with Inter after recovering from an ankle problem.

Peter Olayinka is again expected to feature in the final third alongside Lukas Masopust, with Tomas Soucek, who scored twice in the win over Banik Ostrava, lining up in a deeper position.

Barcelona possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Dembele, Messi, Griezmann

Slavia Prague possible starting lineup: Kolar; Coufal, Kudela, Frydrych, Boril; Zeleny, Soucek, Sevcik; Stanciu; Masopust, Olayinka

We say: Barcelona 3-0 Slavia Prague

Barca will be determined to return to winning ways after the disappointment of Saturday's loss at Levante, and we are expecting the Spanish champions to record a comfortable victory in front of their own supporters.

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