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Luis Enrique, Rakitic wary of Aguero threat

Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique does not want Barcelona to become fixated with Sergio Aguero’s goal threat when his side take on Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Luis Enrique’s men beat the Premier League leaders 4-0 in Group C at Camp Nou two weeks ago, with Aguero surprisingly restricted to a substitute’s role – emerging after compatriot Lionel Messi had completed a hat-trick in the wake of Claudio Bravo’s red card.

Aguero was back among the goals at the weekend with a clinical first-half brace, setting City on the way to a 4-0 triumph at West Brom that ended a six-game winless slump in all competitions.

Guardiola is ready to unleash a player he has warmly praised over recent days in a match where Barca only need to avoid defeat to book their place in the knockout stages with two round-robin outings to spare.

“We’re playing a strong team,” Luis Enrique told a pre-match news conference. “I don’t think it changes our attitude to the match, I don’t think we have to talk too much about Aguero.

“We all know how well he plays. Some people know him better than me. We know how good he is and how easy it seems to be for him to score goals.

“How we approach the game generally though does not change. The profiles of each individual player, we know.”

Aguero’s impressive return of 13 goals from as many games this season places him in lofty company, according to Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

“We know that Aguero is one of the best strikers in the world and when he starts to score it is bad for the other team,” he told reporters.

“We hope that the goals he scored in the last game will be the last for these days. We hope that Sergio had a good day this weekend, tomorrow can be easy and he waits for the next game.”

Even if Aguero hits his straps at the Etihad Stadium, Luis Enrique knows he has his own Argentinian superstar to provide inspiration

“I see Leo looking good, as good as always and he brings the maximum he can to the team,” he added, with Messi aiming to add to a tally of 16 goals against English clubs in European competition.

“He’s looking good and looking forward to contributing.”

Mon 31 Oct, 2016
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