Barcelona are facing a crucial match against Inter for their survival in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, knowing that only a win will do. The term ‘final’ has been brought back out in the Spanish media already.
The Blaugrana know that anything but three points will more or less leave them out of the running for the knockout stages after they were beaten last Tuesday in Milan. Inter sit three points ahead of Barcelona.
Ahead of the match, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was asked if he was worried about the potential anxiety that might foster within his players. Diario AS recorded his response.
“Yes. It is a match based on the psychological aspect. We have to know that we have 90 minutes to win the match. We have to have patience. They will be deep, but if we attack better…”
It is something that has plagued Barcelona in Europe of late, as has their away form. Xavi became the first Barcelona manager to lose his first three away matches in the Champions League last week.
He was also asked what the key to victory was and whether it lay in dominating the central areas of the pitch.
“We have to improve things in some way. It depends on where the free space it. But yes, yes, we have to dominate the space inside, offer [for the ball] more.”
“We have our idea clear and today we will train it again. We will speak with the team so to ensure that they feel comfortably. But for us we have to have our personality and the idea we have clear, to go out and win tomorrow.”
Barcelona are still in the midst of an injury crisis too, with only Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique available as natural central defenders. It was floated to Xavi that Frenkie de Jong, who returned from injury at the weekend, might be an option there.
“He’s fine. We will see how he feels in training to see if he will is there from the start.”
Source by Football Espana