Barcelona young bloods set for BATE baptism
Monday, 5 December 2011
Josep Guardiola said that FC Barcelona's supporters would get to see "new players" under instructions "to be bold" when they host FC BATE Borisov on Tuesday night.
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FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola has indicated that the home fans will get to see "new players" whom he has encouraged "not to be afraid of anything" on Tuesday when they host an FC BATE Borisov side in need of a surprise victory at Nou Camp to keep their faint European hopes alive. Meanwhile, visiting coach Viktor Goncharenko – a self-confessed "student of Guardiola" – is still hoping his side take their "chance to qualify for the Europa League".
Coach Josep Guardiola
I love training the youth-team players, it's great to work with them and we will prepare well for BATE, a team playing for third place. We will fight, create chances and run a lot. The players will learn from the Champions League and the crowd will see new players.
BATE are a team who have lost an important striker [Vitali Rodionov], one of their most important players. They were very defensive in the other match so we will see what they do tomorrow. They could be more ambitious or just as defensive, but Champions League clubs deserve all my respect.
Tomorrow I will field the best possible team because our intention is to win. I know who will play. I want them to be bold, not to play under pressure, show off all their talent and not be afraid of anything. They just have to play and enjoy it.
• Saturday: Barcelona 5-0 UD Levante (Fàbregas 4 33, Cuenca 37, Messi 55, Alexis 61)
Valdés; Mascherano, Puyol (Alves 36), Abidal; Xavi, Busquets (Keita 46), Fàbregas (Pedro 72), Iniesta; Cuenca, Messi, Alexis
• Barcelona are now 40 games unbeaten at home and have not conceded in 810 minutes at Camp Nou since Thiago Silva's late equaliser for AC Milan on matchday one.
Carles Puyol, in for the suspended Gerard Piqué on Saturday, was substituted against Levante due to a dizzy spell. If he plays he is one booking from a round of 16 first-leg ban. Adriano has a thigh strain and Ibrahim Afellay a knee ligament injury. Daniel Alves is available after a matchday five suspension.
FC BATE Borisov
Coach Viktor Goncharenko
I think as a coach, Guardiola is very interesting. At the same time I also like [José] Mourinho because he adapts to any country where he's working. But at the moment, I admire what Guardiola does at Barcelona, I respect him a lot.
We would love to face Barcelona's top team, that would be exciting for the players, but we also understand that the quality of the Barcelona players who are fielded tomorrow is also tremendous, without the Messis or the Xavis.
What we try to do is to incorporate what the world's best coaches, like Guardiola, teach us and integrate all those things into BATE's style. I consider myself to be a student of Guardiola. We know that it's difficult to face Barcelona, but we can't feel scared about the big names here. We talked about that with the players and we can't repeat our mistakes again.
Of course we're prepared for this match. It's very important for us, unlike Barcelona, and it gives us the chance to qualify for the Europa League, to carry on playing in Europe.
• BATE were not in action at the weekend after completing their domestic campaign on 27 November, a 1-1 draw at FC Dinamo Brest halting a run of three defeats in all competitions.
• They had already clinched their sixth straight Belarusian title more than a month earlier with four games left.
Rodionov and Evgeni Kuntsevich have both missed the group stage with knee injuries.
BATE have lost all five encounters with Spanish opposition including their 5-0 loss to Barcelona in Minsk on matchday two.