Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Following a 0-0 draw at Ibrox a fortnight ago, Barcelona’s record against Scottish sides reads only one victory in six meetings, plus the an unlikely statistic of one defeat and two draws against Scottish opposition at Camp Nou.
Barca coach Frank Rijkaard says confidence and attitude will be as important factors as quality for his side.
“I think I know how to explain Barca’s general record against Scottish clubs: when Scots play against the great names of world football they always produce extra pride, extra motivation,” he said.
“They have a terrific mentality in such matches and they always want to defend the honour of their club and country in front of loyal, sporting fans.”
“Walter Smith’s record is impressive in general and he’s achieved great things for Rangers,” said Rijkaard. “Messi used the expression ‘anti-football’ but it’s one I don’t like because football has many facets and I absolutely accept any team’s right to chose the tactics which best suit them. Our need is to score early and open the game up, because I view Rangers as difficult, dangerous opponents.”
Italian FIFA World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta misses the match with an ankle injury but Gabriel Milito returns to the squad after resting for last weekend’s win over Betis.
Smith, who is without the suspended Kevin Thomson but can welcome back Charlie Adam after a virus, acknowledges that Rangers face a difficult test, but believes a draw is not beyond his side.
“Barcelona don’t drop many points at the Camp Nou either in domestic or Champions League football so it’s a tough challenge,” he said. “But if we put on the same performance as we managed at Ibrox then the same result is feasible.”
“My team has defended well in pressure situations this season and that will again be vital. And while it’s easy to identify Barca’s strikers as world-class players, I think that teams who come here and want a result have to ensure that Xavi [Hernández] and [Andrés] Iniesta don’t have easy possession with which to supply the goalscorers.”