Polish referee Szymon Marciniak has been assigned to the Champions League quarter-final between Juventus and Barcelona. The first leg kicks off in Turin on Tuesday.
UEFA’s decision to assign the same referee that oversaw Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-0 win over Barça in the last round seems, at least, surprising, and even more so after some Madridistas placed doubt on Deniz Aytekin’s performance in the second leg.
Marciniak was named as the official who will blow the whistle on this huge fixture at the Juventus Stadium. He’ll be accompanied by Tomasz Listkiewicz, Pawel Sokolnicki, Pawel Raczkowski, Tomasz Musial and fourth official Radoslaw Siejka.
The 36-year-old already officiated Juve’s 1-0 victory away to Olympique Lyonnais on October 16, which saw Mario Lemina sent off and a penalty assigned to the French club.
Marciniak also officiated Roma’s 3-0 Champions League preliminary round defeat to Porto in August, sending off both Daniele De Rossi and Emerson Palmieri.
Italy’s Daniele Orsato has been assigned to the other quarter-final, Borussia Dortmund v Monaco.
Meanwhile, Juventus are on a 21-match unbeaten run at home in all UEFA competitions and will be confident of earning a result ahead of the return leg at Camp Nou. They host a Blaugrana side who suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Malaga on Saturday and have shown indifferent form over the past two months.
With Serie A under the Old Lady’s control, all efforts will be going on the first leg with the Blaugrana.
Luis Enrique has already announced his squad for FC Barcelona’s trip to face Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Everyone in the squad makes the trip to Turin with the exception of Rafinha, who recently undertook surgery on his meniscus problem in his right knee.
Sergio Busquets is suspended but goes, along with injured duo Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal.
Youngsters Carles Alena and Carbonell also travel with the first-team squad.
The full squad is:
Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Masip, Pique, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis Suárez, Arda, Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Mascherano, Paco Alcacer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti, Mathieu, Alena and Carbonell.
The two sides last met in the Champions League final in 2015 which Barca won 3-1, but Juventus have not lost a European match at home since April 2013 when Bayern Munich beat them 2-0.
Whereas, Barcelona have lost two of their last three away games in the competition.