Barca v Shakhtar Preview
Barca host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Camp Nou on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League Group C encounter
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 09/12/08 11:47am
Barcelona host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Camp Nou on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League Group C encounter.
The game is in effect a dead rubber with Barca already assured top spot and qualification through to the last 16.
Shakhtar can only finish third in the group and will be playing for pride in Spain.
The Catalans will use the game as a chance to rest players ahead of the 'El Clasico' against Real Madrid on Saturday.
Manager Pep Guardiola will rest goalkeeper Victor Valdes, defenders Carles Puyol, Rafael Marquez and Dani Alves, midfielders Xavi and Yaya Toure and Argentinean forward Lionel Messi.
French striker Thierry Henry was set to join them on the sidelines but he has been re-called to the squad in place of Samuel Eto'o.
In their place Guardiola is set to hand European debuts to four of Barca's reserve team squad.
19-year-old defender Alberto Botia, midfielders Xavi Torres and Abraham and 21-year-old striker Victor Vazquez should all feature.
French full-back Eric Abidal is set to continue his comeback against the Ukrainians. The defender featured for the first time in a month in the 4-0 win over Valencia on Saturday.
Guardiola has warned his players of the threat that Shakhtar pose: "They are an aggressive team with top players throughout the side.
Shakhtar have never won in Spain but manager Mircea Lucescu believes his side have a point to prove.
He told the club's official website: "It will be a very difficult game. If there is anybody who has to prove anything it is us."
Shakhtar travel to Barcelona with no new injury concerns. Long-term injury casualty Brazilian midfielder Ilsinho is expected back in January ahead of the club's Uefa Cup campaign.
Defender Chyzhov meanwhile is not expected back until the second half of the season.
The clash will be the last game of the year for the Ukrainians as the domestic league closes for a winter break, meaning the club's many Brazilians will be heading back home after the Barcelona game.