The Barça manager is concerned about Osasuna’s daring approach and feels that their cup rivals will be coming to the Camp Nou looking to win the tie. He also explained that Iniesta has made much improvement but does not believe he is ready to play for the full 90 minutes.
Josep Guardiola does not think it will be easy to beat Osasuna in the Copa del Rey round of 16, saying that they "are a demanding side. They come at you. We have to play well and quick or the tie will be a difficult one." Neither does he think that the game at the Camp Nou will have anything to do with the 8-0 drubbing Barça dished out earlier this season in the league. "That was a long time ago, and a result like that will be added motivation for them. The situation has changed. This is an 180 minute match and we have to try to get a good result."
The Barcelona manager notes that Jose Luis Medilíbar's side is fifth in the league and almost unbeatable at El Sadar, their home ground. "Mendilíbar is ambitious, and that's why his daring team are fifth with 25 points. They'll clearly be coming here looking to win the tie, and by doing that Osasuna will help us get back into competitive football ... we are going to have to attack well and create lots of goalscoring chances".
He was also asked to talk about Messi's condition, considering he only got back to Barcelona on Monday after his holiday in Argentina. Is he ready to take part in Barça's first game of 2012? "He has come back in fine spirits, so we'll decide tomorrow. I haven't asked him if he wants to play because I know what his answer will be. But it's me who will decide ... He is gaining in experience with every year, he understands the game better ... and the sooner he is back playing the better".
Guardiola also had good news regarding Andrés Iniesta, who trained on Monday for the first time since getting injured against l'Hospitalet: "He did the whole session today, and finished all the exercises. He's fine. He has done two sessions so far. It's a bit early for him to play the whole 90 minutes, but perhaps he can go on for a little while."
It has been mooted of late that Jonathan Soriano could be a good replacement for the injured David Villa. "That is one of the possibilities we're looking at" said Pep. "But the downside is that if we promote him to first team, there's no going back for him. He has shown that he can play in the first division, and he deserves a chance after all he's done in the reserves, he has a lot of potential, he fits into the team well. We have three weeks to decide. We'll see how this month goes, and how he adjusts to things."
Tito Vilanova present
Guardiola confirmed that Tito Vilanova could be back on the bench on Wednesday night against Osasuna, but everybody has to remember that he has only just undergone a serious operation. "It is very important for the team for him to be there. We aren't the same without him. In principle, he'll be there tomorrow, but the future will depend on his condition. We mustn't forget that he's only just had an operation. He'll come depending on how things develop. The most important thing is that he is getting better." (via FCBarcelona.cat)