Xavi Hernandez (C) of FC Barcelona lines up a free kick beside Lionel Messi (L) and Daniel Alves during the La Liga match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona at estadio Estadio Nuevo De Los Carmines in Granada, Spain. Xavi scored from the free kick. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Barcelona takes on Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, and they should clinch a spot in the knockout stage.
When these two teams met in the last round at the Camp Nou, Barcelona were expected to easily wipe the floor with the Czech champions. Instead, Viktoria Plzen defended very well in a 2-0 loss, looking like they had a chance to nick an equalizer on the counter for most of the time between Barcelona's two goals. Not to be patronizing, but even in a loss, Plzen put on a great performance and were able to seal a great result, one that should help them finish third in the group and make it to the Europa League.
Against Barcelona at home, the goal will likely be the same: Try their hardest to prevent goals. Depending on how the BATE Borisov-AC Milan match goes, Plzen could go into the final round against BATE needing just a draw to qualify for the Europa League.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are cruising towards a knockout stage spot and are likely to lock that up in this game. In other news, Lionel Messi is close to scoring 200 goals for Barcelona. He's only 24 years old and has spent only a year of his time with the club in a role that could possibly be described as anything resembling 'center forward'. Lionel Messi is really good at football.
Plzen vs. Barcelona kicks off at 3:45 pm ET, 7:45 pm GMT, and 8:45 pm local time. For more on the Blaugranas, check out FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes. We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other Champions League action in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday, Matchday 4 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.