A draw against understrength Barcelona will be enough to send Udinese into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
However, coach Serse Cosmi rates his side’s chances of progressing at just “30 per cent” –despite Barcelona travelling without European Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho, and strike partner Samuel Eto’o.
“Obviously it’s better for us that Ronaldinho’s not playing. But Barcelona have a squad of unparalleled quality anywhere in Europe,” said Cosmi.
“They can replace these players with top quality like Henrik Larsson, Ludovic Giuly and Lionel Messi – players who will be highly motivated and with a point to prove.”
“The chances of us getting through are not great. All I can say is that it won’t be enough to play like we did in Athens. We will have to play our best-ever match. I give us a 30 per cent chance of getting through.”
Cosmi is not helped by the loss through injury of Cesare Natali and Giampiero Pinzi and there are doubts about Felipe and Vincent Candela.
Barcelona assistant coach defended the selection policy of Frank Rijkaard.
“We have a squad of 24 players and we can only choose eleven at a time,” he said.
“Eto’o is injured and Ronaldinho is a human being not a machine – the coach decided it was time to rest him, it’s his prerogative. But whoever plays, we will be competitive and we always play to win. Werder Bremen needn’t worry.
“Udinese are capable of quick counterattacks so we will need to be careful but play our own game. We play with the ball to feet and won’t change our style for anyone.”
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