Round of 16, second leg – Kick-off: 20-45 (CET)
First leg: Stuttgart 1-1 Barcelona
Pep Guardiola will send his Barcelona side out to attack even though a goalless draw at home to Stuttgart would secure a UEFA Champions League quarter-final place.
“If we play to defend, we will be sent packing,” he said. “Last season in the last 16 against Lyon we said the same thing; we are going to attack, have possession and create as many chances as possible because if we don’t do that, we won’t continue in the Champions League and will only have the league left. There’s no other option. This match is a final and will set up the rest of the season for us.
“Of course we can lose as Madrid did, without a doubt. It’s a huge challenge to make it to the quarter-finals, [to be] among Europe’s best, to equal Manchester United in reaching the quarter-finals for the third successive time. The team deserves the stadium to be absolutely full, I want the fans to back the team because we’re much stronger with them behind us. ”
Guardiola will be without Eric Abidal and there are doubts over the fitness of Carles Puyol and Seydou Keita.
Stuttgart led at home through Cacau before Zlatan Ibrahimovic levelled the tie and coach Christian Gross will keep faith with the same side.
“We have to play intelligently,” he said. “We know Barcelona are an attacking team who always want to score. We have to be more disciplined than in the first leg, hold on to possession – that will be vital – and trust ourselves.
“I plan to field the same team as in the first leg and I’m still thinking about a few things, like where to play [Aleksandr] Hleb. The strikers are doing a great job, we’ve played well recently and the team has a good leader on the pitch in Jens [Lehmann] so that’s why I’m convinced we will play a great match.
“I will try to find the right formula: we have analysed Barcelona and our own game. Some of my players know the stadium and others don’t, so we will use their experience. I don’t think we have to be fearful and see what happens.”