Head coach Luis Enrique believes Barcelona will have to start quickly in order to quell free-scoring Borussia Monchengladbach in Wednesday’s Champions League clash.
Borussia were thumped 4-0 by Manchester City in the Group C opener but responded by firing four first-half goals past Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga the following weekend.
Saturday’s 2-0 win over Ingolstadt marked a rare clean sheet for Andre Schubert’s men, who beat Young Boys 9-2 on aggregate in the play-off round, and the match with Barca at Borussia Park would appear to promise fireworks.
“The first few moments will be key, we’ll have to be concentrated,” Luis Enrique, who will once again be without injured talisman Lionel Messi, told a pre-match news conference.
“Our approach doesn’t change either at home or away. Obviously things are a bit easier at home but our philosophy doesn’t change, either home or away.
“Borussia at home, they are very, very good. Away, maybe not so good. It is certain that tomorrow we are going to have to play a great game in order to beat them.
“They are a difficult team, not just because of what they do when they don’t have the ball, which is press a lot and do not let you have any easy balls.
“We are going to have to be very well positioned and alert not to create complicated situations on the field.
“On top of the danger that they create they can get our on the counter and create other problems for us.
“They have a very good attack, they can score a lot of goals. It is true they have also given up some but tomorrow we have to find their weaknesses, otherwise we are going to have troubles ourselves.”
It will be a special occasion for goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen – returning to his hometown club as Barcelona’s number one – and Luis Enrique believes the 24-year-old has developed on and off the field since moving to Camp Nou in 2014.
He added: “Of course it’s special, it’s his old team, his old club where he’s from, but I don’t think that is going to influence how we prepare for the game. It will be great for him.
“I think he has improved. He speaks another language, he understands Catalan and, if you want to talk about football, I think growth is basic for any player, anywhere on the football field.
“I hope he keeps doing it because that is the objective of any professional footballer.”
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