Despite putting themselves within touching distance of a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage, FC Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés insists there is still work to do in the away decider against Wisła Kraków.
Barcelona take a 4-0 lead into the return leg against the Polish champions thanks to a double strike from Samuel Eto'o and further goals from Xavi Hernández and Thierry Henry at Camp Nou on 13 August. Nonetheless, Valdés is demanding a cautious approach. "We're the first to say we're not complacent," the 26-year-old said. "I think it's going to be a difficult match even if we're going into it with a good result from the first leg. We feel everything will work out well but it certainly won't be easy to beat Wisła."
The Catalan side will be without Lionel Messi – an Olympic gold medallist with Argentina – but have Daniel Alves back from injury. Coach Josep Guardiola's charges have caught the eye during an unbeaten pre-season and Valdés believes Barça can take this form forward. "It's been a very positive time in terms of results and things have gone as we would have wished," he added. "What we want to do now is qualify for the Champions League by winning the second leg and then we can concentrate on our opening La Liga game [at CD Numancia] at the weekend."
Barcelona also met Wisła in the third qualifying round seven years ago, winning 4-3 away and 1-0 at home. Valdés is confident another victory can set the ball rolling for a successful campaign. "I think the team are playing very well and everyone is optimistic after what they have seen in pre-season – a side that has been strengthened, has an attractive playing style and has obtained results that speak for themselves. Like the boss said during his presentation, we have the goal of winning over our fans again by picking up trophies."
Wisła lead Poland's Ekstraklasa after three matches, but despite a pair of victories since the first leg at Camp Nou, coach Maciej Skorža has hardly had an easy ride as he prepares to welcome the Spanish giants. Arkadiusz Głowacki, Mauro Cantoro and Radosław Sobolewski are all injured while Marcin Baszczyński is unlikely to feature following the death of his father. "Deciding on the team and formation for this match will be a real headache," Skorža admitted. The trainer can at least take heart from the form of striker Paweł Brożek who has hit four goals in three games this season.
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