Barcelona will be looking to get their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League off to a flying start when they welcome Belgian side Antwerp for matchday one on Tuesday, September 19th. The Blaugrana have been placed in Group H, and with Porto, Antwerp, and Shaktar Donetsk for company, are expected to top this quartet and book their spot in the round of 16 without much fuss.
Xavi's men come into this game in good form after recording a comfortable 5-0 win over Real Betis in La Liga to keep them in second spot, two points behind Real Madrid. Barcelona did have a somewhat bumpy start to the season as they were held to a surprise scoreless stalemate against Getafe on matchday one, but have since gone on to win their last four games to work their way up the table.
Although they are the reigning La Liga champions and have enjoyed success in the Champions League, things have not been easy for Barcelona in recent years. The Spanish giants have shockingly underwhelmed in their last few Champions League outings, as they were eliminated in the round of 16 by PSG during the 2020/21 season and suffered an embarrassing early exit last season after being dumped out at the group stages.
Meanwhile, upcoming opponents Antwerp are in unchartered territory. Thanks to their playoff win over AEK Athens, the Belgian side will be featuring in the Champions League group stages for the first time in history. Currently led by Mark van Bommel, who will be quite familiar with Barcelona having spent one season at the Camp Nou from 2005 to 2006, Antwerp will come into this contest knowing that they are the clear underdogs.
However, having won 3-0 in their domestic league last week, Antwerp, who won their first Belgian division title since 1957 last season, will hope to put on a good show but they will be heavily hampered by a worrying injury list ahead of what will be their toughest test in this group.
It will be a very interesting reunion for both van Bommel and Xavi, as the duo were teammates on the Barcelona team that won La Liga and the Champions League during the 2005/06 season. A few years later, the Dutch midfielder and his former colleague were on opposite sides of the pitch during the 2010 FIFA World Cup final that was ultimately won 1-0 by Spain.
Team news: Barcelona vs Antwerp
Barcelona: Both Ronald Araujo and Pedri are expected to miss this game due to injury, but Ilkay Gundogan could get involved in some capacity after featuring in his team's 5-0 demolition of Real Betis over the weekend.
Antwerp: Unfortunately for the visitors, their worrying injury list will make an already tough task even more difficult. They will have to make do without Davino Verhulst, Bjorn Engels, Sam Vines, Kobe Corbanie, and Ortwin De Wolf for this game.
Match facts: Barcelona vs Antwerp
- Antwerp are featuring in the Champions League for the first time in club history
- This will be Barcelona's first UCL game against a Belgian team since 2002
- Barcelona's record against Belgian sides is W11 D1 L3...
- ...and at home, their record is W6 D1, meaning that they have never lost to a Belgian team on home turf
- Antwerp's record against Spanish sides is W0 D0 L2...
- ...meaning that they have never beaten a Spanish team in their entire European history
- However, they have lost just one of their last 10 European games (W6 D3)...
- ...and they are unbeaten in their last six away European games (W3 D3)
Broadcast info: Barcelona vs Antwerp
How can I watch Barcelona vs Antwerp live?
USA: Barcelona vs Antwerp kicks off at 3 pm EST (12 pm PST). Fans in the USA have a range of options to follow the game live. Live streaming is available via Paramount+ and Fubo TV; however, there are no TV options for English-speakers.
Canada: Fans based in Canada can live stream this game via DAZN.
Live elsewhere? Here's how you can watch Barcelona vs Antwerp live from wherever you are based:
Match details, result and original broadcast info
This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.