Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vilanova back for Barca in Paris

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 1 Apr 2013

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Jordi Roura says Tito Vilanova will return to the dug-out for Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

The Blaugrana, who travel to the French capital for the first leg on Tuesday, will be boosted with the news that their coach will make a long-awaited return to the bench after spending the past 10 weeks undergoing throat cancer treatment in New York.

“Tito Vilanova will be on the bench tomorrow, no doubt: he’s the boss, and we’re very happy to have him back with us,” Roura told reporters at a press conference.

The stand-in boss then warned the Catalans that they will have to be at their very best if they are to emerge victorious against the big-spending Ligue 1 leaders.

“We’ll have to be at 100 per cent if we want to be able to win,” he said.

“It’s very important for us to have reached this stage of the competition, and we’re very happy to be here, in Paris. It’s a great team with top players, such as (Javier) Pastore, (Ezequiel) Lavezzi and so on.”

The 45-year-old then acknowledged the versatility of Carlo Ancelotti’s team and admitted they have more than one gameplan capable of causing his side problems.

“PSG are quick on the break and strong in the air, especially with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, but those are only two of their options: they have a lot more tricks up their sleeve,” Roura said.

“We’ll have to adapt a bit, of course, but we won’t change the way we play – although we have studied their game carefully.”

Roura also revealed that a decision is yet to be made on whether Jordi Alba and Xavi will make their respective returns from injury on Tuesday.

“Jordi Alba and Xavi Hernandez had knocks, but they are coming on well. They were rested last weekend for this, but we’ll only make a decision tomorrow, after the final training session.”

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