Pep Guardiola has emphasised the importance of keeping a clean sheet against Shakhtar Donetsk in their Champions League quarter-final.
The Barcelona boss said it was imperative the Catalans maintain their high-tempo passing game and restrict the Ukrainians of space to exploit in the first leg of the tie on Wednesday at the Nou Camp.
“We have to compete at our maximum level tomorrow,” Guardiola said on Tuesday. “Tomorrow, if we play at half speed, Shakhtar will steamroll us.”
“When you play away, it is vital to score, and when you play at home it is important not to concede. We are playing at a stage in which every team is strong, and it might be that they score.”
The treble-winning coach has not underestimated his opponents as he fielded a side comprising many second-string names for the clash with Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday.
“We will field our best eleven, and play to the fullest, because Shakhtar are a team who play a very good, direct game,” he said.
“We have to impose ourselves on the game. In Europe, home advantage is very important.”
Guardiola also singled out the threat of Shakhtar striker Luiz Adriano, who netted against Roma in the second-round clash against Roma.
“They have Adriano, who is a great attacker, and when their full backs come into the midfield to play, they dominate. They open up space and create problems,” he said.
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