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Guardiola gives credit to special FCK

FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola heaped praise on "well-marshalled, very intelligent and defensively organised" FC København as the shock Group D pacesetters head for Camp Nou.

Guardiola gives credit to special FCK
Guardiola gives credit to special FCK ©UEFA.com

FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola was unstinting in his praise for FC København while the shock UEFA Champions League Group D pacesetters' coach Ståle Solbakken promised "you will never see a more positive side from Scandinavia than you will tomorrow".

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
This is a very tricky match. They will be very physical opponents and we have to be ready for that. People take things for granted and think that since we're a big club we should win every game, but anything can happen in the Champions League and København are playing very well.

København are well-marshalled, very intelligent and defensively organised. People have hardly spoken about them and that's a grave mistake. They haven't lost yet; they have six points out of six and that means they are doing well. If we're not bright and sharp, they will make matters difficult for us and there's a lot at stake.

Ståle Solbakken, København coach
We have total respect for Barcelona, but if there's one day in 365 when we can get a result, that's tomorrow. The confidence in the team is at its highest. I know it's not that realistic, but we have six points and nothing to lose. Anything can happen and we could get battered, so we have to be prepared for that too.

My players are in great shape, we're playing at the highest tempo and this will be a very good experience for us, whether we get hammered or not. To see the joy in the players' faces is a joy in itself. I think you will never see a more positive side from Scandinavia than you will tomorrow. I believe in this team, these players; they are a mixture and some of them are daft enough to think they can win here.

Team news
Xavi Hernández recovered from a bout of tendinitis to face Valencia CF at the weekend, but may not feature due to a minor Achilles injury. Pedro Rodríguez came on as a late substitute against Valencia after shaking off a hamstring problem. Goalkeeper Víctor Valdés will miss out after going down with a bout of flu.

Morten Nordstrand is back in full training but has not played since March after picking up thigh and groin injuries while on loan at FC Groningen. Sölvi Ottesen (broken arm) and Martin Bergvold (knee) remain long-term absentees.

Weekend results
16/10/10 Barcelona 2-1 Valencia CF
(Iniesta 47, Puyol 63; Pablo Hernández 38)
Josep Guardiola made five changes to the team that drew 1-1 with RCD Mallorca on 3 October, Carles Puyol, Maxwell, Xavi, Sergio Busquets and David Villa all coming in. Villa faced his former side for the first time, while Puyol's winner was his eighth goal in 335 Liga appearances for Barça.

17/10/10 København 5-0 Odense BK
(Santin 4 37 60, Vingaard 20, N'Doye 90+5)
César Santin's second hat-trick for FCK earned a commanding victory over an OB side that had begun the weekend in third. Three up at half-time, coach Ståle Solbakken opted to rest Zdeněk Pospěch for the second period.

Did you know?
As if the prospect of facing the 2009 champions on their own soil is not daunting enough, FCK also have to reverse a historical trend if they are to maintain their unbeaten run. In six European fixtures against teams from Denmark, Barcelona have won five and drawn the other. Their only previous Danish UEFA Champions League opponents were Brøndby IF, a team they beat 2-0 both home and away in the 1998/99 group stage.

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