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Antwerp vs Barcelona Prediction 13 December 2023

Antwerp vs Barcelona Prediction 13 December 2023

Antwerp take on the visitors Barcelona in the round 6 match of UEFA Champions League group stage. The match will be played on Wednesday, December 13th at Bosuilstadion (Antwerp)

The Belgian champions couldn't handle the main European club tournament this season. Five matches, five defeats, a goal difference of 3-15. And no hints even of competing for the third spot in the group. Such are the realities. However, it's worth noting that in Barcelona, when the Spaniards annihilated the Belgians 5-0, the opponent only played for half of the scored goals. Everything just went into the net. Now, under Xavi's guidance, they are weaker than they were at the start of the group stage. It might be possible not only to concede fewer goals against them but also to score at least once. In the two previous home Champions League matches, Antwerp lost, but not without a fight: 1-4 against Porto and 2-3 against Shakhtar.

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The Catalans, starting with three consecutive wins in the tournament, created problems for themselves by losing the return match against Shakhtar (0-1). Yet, they resolved them successfully in the next round by defeating Porto (2-1) and securing an early spot in the playoffs. However, even in the group stage matches, the Spaniards concede goals consecutively - in addition to the mentioned games, there was another match against Ukrainians (2-1). Overall, Barcelona's defense has been shaky this season, partly due to Ter Stegen's injury, and even before that, the German goalkeeper didn't perform as spectacularly as in the previous season. In the last round of the Spanish Championship, under Xavi's guidance, they suffered a defeat in the derby against Girona, conceding four goals. Recently, even modest teams like Rayo Vallecano (1-1) and Alaves (2-1) managed to score against Barcelona in La Liga.

This match has no tournament significance for either the Catalans or the Belgians. For one, it's just a routine sparring with a weak opponent, on which it's not worth spending much energy, considering that Barcelona's efforts are currently more beneficial to focus on the national championship, where everything is not easy. For the others, it's the last chance to at least secure one point in the coefficient table for the country and delight their fans with something in the Champions League group stage. At least with one goal against the reigning Spanish champions. I don't know if the visitors will score in this match (I won't be surprised if they don't at all), but at least I want to believe in at least one accurate shot from the hosts. My prediction - Antwerp will score: YES.

Prediction for the match: Antwerp to score – yes.

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Dylan McLaughlin
Football tipster