Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has promised not to take Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg lightly.
Despite winning the first leg 5-1 against Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, Guardiola is determined to prevent any surprise result with a double-header against Real Madrid on the horizon.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Barcelona striker Pedro.
“Although we are defending a good result it will be tremendously difficult,” Pedro said.
“There are 90 minutes and anything can happen. They have a great team. In the King’s Cup we saw what happened against Real Betis (Barca won 5-0 at home and then lost 3-1 away).”
“We won’t change our style. We’ll go there to attack and to score goals.”
The Ukrainians caused Barca problems in the opening minutes at the Nou Camp in the first leg when their speedy strikers unsettled the defence.
Maintaining their winning momentum will be important because on their return they face a potential La Liga title decider away to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Four days after the ‘clasico’, they face Real Madrid again in the King’s Cup final, and assuming Jose Mourinho’s men suffer no slip ups away to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, the Spanish giants are likely to meet again in the Champions League semis.
Barca travel without the injured Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal and Bojan Krkic while Andres Iniesta is suspended.
Shakhtar suffered their first defeat at the new Dondass Arena on Saturday, losing 1-0 to FC Obolon.
Matters were made worse by a thigh injury to Croatian defender and team captain Dario Srna, who has been ruled out for two weeks, which leaves coach Mircea Lucescu with problems at the back.
Srna joins Olexandr Kucher and former Barca defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy on the injury list while Razvan Rat is suspended.
Lucescu may have to turn to the inexperienced Serhiy Kryvtsov to play in the centre of defence with Mykola Ishchenko, Vyacheslav Shevchuk or Vasyl Kobin, who are all short of match fitness.
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