Dembele fitness doubts for Barca ahead of Lyon clash

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The main issue for Valverde ahead of naming his team is the fitness of winger Ousmane Dembele, who tweaked a hamstring in Saturday's 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano and is a major doubt for Wednesday night.

Barca should have won the first leg in France, but despite creating a hatful of chances, they were unable to find the back of the net, and they will be confident that a similar display, coupled with better finishing, will have them in Friday's quarterfinal draw.

5,000 Lyon fans will make the relatively short trip to Barcelona for what promises to be an exciting night in the Camp Nou with the sort of atmosphere only found on the biggest European occasions.

The problem with that idea is that Coutinho's recent form doesn't merit a place in the starting 11, while Malcom has been very much a fringe player under Valverde. If neither of those options appeal, the coach could opt to play Arturo Vidal in a four-man midfield alongside Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Arthur Melo, or bring Nelson Semedo in at right-back with Sergi Roberto playing on the right of midfield.

MADRID, March 12 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona have their Champions League hopes in the balance on Wednesday when they entertain Olympique Lyonnais in the Camp Nou Stadium.

If Dembele is able to play, Valverde will field him alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack, but if he doesn't recover in time (and that is the most likely outcome) then the coach will have to decide whether to stick with a 4-3-3 formation and bring either Philippe Coutinho or Malcom into his side.

Former Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti will probably start on the bench, with Valverde preferring the defensive pairing of Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet.

Although Barcelona are favorites to qualify for the quarterfinals of the competition ahead of the French side, the 0-0 draw in the first leg means Barca's progress is far from a foregone conclusion, as an away goal would complicate matters for Ernesto Valverde's team.