Barcelona hope to continue fine Euro run

BARCELONA’S domestic form may have been indifferent this season but in Europe they have gone unbeaten for 15 games and they are looking to add to their tally with a victory over Juventus in their Champions League quarter-final, second-leg tonight.

fter a 1-1 draw in the Stadio Delle Alpi two weeks ago, a win over the Italian side in the Catalan citadel of the Nou Camp will see Barca into the semi-finals of the Champions League for the third time in the last four seasons. “The only thing I am interested in is the Champions League now,” admitted Barca coach Radomir Antic.

Barca face finishing in the bottom half of the Spanish first division for the first time since 1942 but showed they could still compete with the best when they held Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Antic was expected to rest several key players ahead of the clash with the Italians but chose to put out his best against Madrid and they fortunately came through unscathed.

Gabri Garcia is suspended which means that Carles Puyol will move over to right back and Swedish veteran Patrick Andersson is expected to come into the centre of the defence.

Argentine left back Juan Pablo Sorin is cup-tied which should open the door for Micheal Reiziger to make a rare start.

However, after the success of Barca’s attacking tactics against Madrid, Antic is not expected to change his offensive formation unless he brings in Javier Saviola for Marc Overmars.

Juventus though are not going to be overawed in the Nou Camp despite the fact the odds are against them.

“I am confident we can score there, and if we get the first goal it will really open up the tie,” added Lippi.

Unlike his Barcelona counterpart, Lippi is not likely to know who he is going to thrust into battle until the last minute. French striker David Trezeguet is out with a shoulder injury while defender Mark Iuliano has a throat infection and is doubtful. There are also concerns over the fitness of Pavel Nedved.

Barcelona (probable): Bonano; Puyol, de Boer, Andersson, Reiziger; Overmars, Xavi, Motta, Luis Enrique; Saviola, Kluivert.

Juventus (probable): Buffon; Thuram, Ferrara, Montero, Zambrotta; Camoranesi, Tacchinardi, Davids, Nedved; Del Piero, Di Vaio.

Referee: G Poll (England)

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