After Barcelona’s comprehensive 5-0 win over Basle in Switzerland a fortnight ago, a repeat looks on the cards when the sides meet at Camp Nou.
However, Barca coach Pep Guardiola is guarding against any complacency tonight.
“The danger is that so many people seem to believe we’ve won it already,” warned the former Barca captain. “Even I have praised the team, because their attitude, work and performances have all been pleasing. But it must not go to their heads.
“It wouldn’t be the first time in my Barcelona career that, just as people take victory for granted, the team lose to everyone’s great surprise. You have to work hard to reach the level we have achieved, but it can disappear in an instant.
“We are doing well, I’m happy, but you can’t win the Champions League or the Spanish title by November. I want total concentration and the same attitude, game after game after game.”
With Eric Abidal ruled out with a knee injury, Guardiola is likely to play Martin Caáceres at left-back, while his Basle counterpart Christian Gross faces only one selection headache as defender David Abraham is struggling to shake off a stomach upset.
“I understand how Barça are feeling because they are like Basel are in Switzerland,” joked the coach. “Like us, they are under pressure to win every game, score lots of goals, and always win trophies. It’s pure pressure.”
“We knew before the first match how strong Barcelona have become,” he said. “They are more of a unit than last season and they are obviously enjoying their football. But if we don’t concede early goals and are clever in possession, we can do something magnificent at Camp Nou.”