Werder Bremen v Barcelona
Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf has vowed to attack from the start against Spanish champions Barcelona.
He said: “Our strength lies in our attacking ability. We proved that during last season’s Champions League and it would be a mistake to set out a defensive stall against Barcelona.
“Barcelona have the potential to win the tournament, which we have a great deal of respect for, but we have no fear of them. My side go into every game to win and I would not be satisfied with just one point.”
However, his plans have received a setback with Germany forward Miroslav Klose suspended having collected a red card for two bookable offences against Swiss champions FC Basel in Bremen’s third qualifying round tie.
But Schaaf is remains upbeat.
“Klose has proved over the last few weeks just how valuable he is but we do have other options – Nelson Valdez is likely to fill the gap left,” he said. “His ability is clear and it’s only the quality of Miroslav Klose and Ivan Klasni_ that is keeping him out of the team.”
Barcelona are certainly among the favourites to win this year’s coompetition, although captain Carles Puyol was keen to play down their chances, saying: “There are many teams capable of winning the title, so we must give 100 per cent and try to win every game. It will be a difficult task.”
Visiting coach Frank Rijkaard will not underestimate tonight’s opponets.
“They are an effective, attacking side and we will have to be well prepared to deal with their goalscoring threat,” he said.
“We have to come up with a solution to the heading ability within the Bremen ranks. We know our opponents and respect them.”