07 March 2012

FC Barcelona - Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Quarter finals in sight

20.45, TV3 and Ràdio Barça - FC Barcelona host Bayer 04 Leverkusen with the intention of finishing off the excellent job done in the first leg and thus progressing into the last eight of the Champions League.

Barça won 3-1 in Germany, and already have one foot in the quarter finals of the Champions League.

The star of the first leg, Alexis Sánchez, misses the game through injury, as do six other players.

Both teams have won every game since they met at the BayArena.

FC Barcelona don't want any nasty surprises against the 'aspirin' team, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who they face on Wednesday night (20.45, TV3 and Radio Barça) with the aim of completing the excellent job done a fortnight ago in Germany, where they won 3-1 away, and ensuring passage into the quarter finals of Europe's premier club competition. Whenever the Champions League anthem plays, it's a warning to the players that they are competing at the highest level, and tonight's visitors have regained their form by winning every Bundesliga match since crashing at home to the defending champions.

But these are troubled times in the FCB dressing room. Guardiola is going to work around seven injuries (Afellay, Villa, Fontàs, Abidal, Alexis, Thiago and Puyol), meaning he has only 14 first team players available. That's why he has called upon the services of Tello, Muniesa, Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Dos Santos and Montoya, all of Barça B. Alexis Sánchez, who scored two goals in the first leg, will not be able to add to his tally tonight at the Camp Nou.

One of the mysteries surrounding tonight's fixture is the tactics Robin Dutt is going to employ. Having lost 3-1 in the first leg, he is unlikely to opt for the conservative methods he chose that night, with his Bayer 04 Leverkusen players waiting for FC Barcelona in their own half – especially before they finally went a goal down. At the Camp Nou, he has little choice but to push forward in search of goals, for his team will need at least three in order to qualify. They have nothing to lose, while it doesn't cost anything to dream. Corluka, the only winter signing, misses the game through injury, as do Ballack, Sam and Adler. (via FCBarcelona.com)