Barcelona v BATE Borisov preview
Barcelona will be under no pressure when facing BATE Borisov on Tuesday after already qualifying for the knockout stages.
By Simon Porter
Last Updated: 06/12/11 12:41pm
Barcelona will be under no pressure when facing BATE Borisov on Tuesday after already qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The Primera Liga champions have also secured top spot in Group H after beating AC Milan 3-2 last month and Borisov will have to beat the Spaniards if they want to have a chance of progressing into the Europa League.
Barca boss Pep Guardiola plans to rest his key players for the approaching Primera Liga clash with fierce rivals Real Madrid and he has indicated that the home fans will get to see the club's younger players in action.
"I love training the youth-team players, it's great to work with them and we will prepare well for BATE, a team playing for third place. We will fight, create chances and run a lot," said Guardiola on UEFA's official website.
"The players will learn from the Champions League and the crowd will see new players.
"BATE are a team who have lost an important striker (Vitali Rodionov), one of their most important players. They were very defensive in the other match so we will see what they do tomorrow.
"They could be more ambitious or just as defensive, but Champions League clubs deserve all my respect.
"Tomorrow I will field the best possible team because our intention is to win. I know who will play. I want them to be bold, not to play under pressure, show off all their talent and not be afraid of anything. They just have to play and enjoy it."
Borisov coach Viktor Goncharenko has declared that he admires Guardiola and his team but he admits that he would love to play against the Spanish side's big names.
"I think as a coach, Guardiola is very interesting. At the same time I also like (Jose) Mourinho because he adapts to any country where he's working. But at the moment, I admire what Guardiola does at Barcelona, I respect him a lot.
"We would love to face Barcelona's top team, that would be exciting for the players, but we also understand that the quality of the Barcelona players who are fielded tomorrow is also tremendous, without the Messis or the Xavis.
"What we try to do is to incorporate what the world's best coaches, like Guardiola, teach us and integrate all those things into BATE's style. I consider myself to be a student of Guardiola.
"We know that it's difficult to face Barcelona, but we can't feel scared about the big names here. We talked about that with the players and we can't repeat our mistakes again.
"Of course we're prepared for this match. It's very important for us, unlike Barcelona, and it gives us the chance to qualify for the Europa League, to carry on playing in Europe."
For Barcelona, Carles Puyol will likely play instead of the suspended Gerard Piqué. Adriano (thigh strain) and Ibrahim Afellay (knee ligament damage) will also both miss the match.
Daniel Alves however is back from his suspension which saw him miss the club's last European game against AC Milan.
For BATE, Rodionov and Evgeni Kuntsevich will both still be on the sidelines with their long-term knee injuries.