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Three things that will shape the outcome of Barcelona vs. BATE Borisov

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Barcelona will qualify from Champions League Group E if both they and Bayer Leverkusen win their respective games in this week's round of fixtures.

Should AS Roma beat the Germans and Barca win, the Catalans are still almost certainly through to the knockout stages, but could drop out if Roma and Bayer win both of their remaining fixtures.

A tough La Liga fixture against Villarreal follows so that may reflect how Luis Enrique makes up the numbers for this one.

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It could give a few of the B team a chance to shine, and bring back memories of the 2012 fixture between the two when Barca had an all-La Masia XI on the pitch in a watershed moment for the club. How they would love to be able to do that again soon.

Let's take a look at three things that could shape the outcome of this one:

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All change

Enrique will definitely take the chance to rotate his squad and there will be a much-changed starting line-up, even if the manager has to throw on a couple of his big names to see this one home it is worth the risk.

Sergi Samper has been champing at the bit to get some more senior game time. The brilliant central midfielder has rarely featured since his man-of-the-match cameo against APOEL Nicosia in last season's competition.

Munir El Haddadi will retain his place and is likely to be joined by Sandro Ramirez. Both strikers are living on borrowed time at the moment, as the formerly mentioned has not scored for over a year.

This is the perfect match to gain some confidence and if neither can produce here, arguably they could be on their way in January.

Patience is a virtue

It would not be a surprise if the visitors turned up with the intention of trying to hit Barcelona on the break, sitting back for the rest of the 90 minutes.

A team that didn't have their first shot on target until the 76th minute in the reverse fixture is likely to struggle in a cavernous Camp Nou. Coming away with a hammering will not do anything for the confidence of Aleksandr Yermakovich's men either.

The BATE Borisov boss can't rely on the attacking 4-2-3-1 which he usually prefers, so Barca should not try to force things and just play their natural game.

Even a 1-0 win will suffice, despite the locals' expectations of much more.

As long as the hosts are patient in their build-up play, the chances - and ultimately the win - will come.

Yellow peril

BATE have six of their players on yellow cards from the last meeting between the sides and they can ill afford any more indiscretions.

Even if they were to lose this game, there's still an opportunity to qualify for the Europa League but they will suffer immensely without half of their team.

A physical outfit at the best of times, BATE need to rein in some of the rough stuff if they want to end their European season on a high.

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Barcelona
La Liga
Football

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