Barcelona looks to regain top form

BY foxsports • November 8, 2011

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola believes his side will not be complacent against L'Hospitalet in the first leg of the knockout phase of the Copa del Rey.

Barca will be missing several key players due to international games and Guardiola insists the reigning Primera Division champions will take the Segunda Division B club seriously at the Feixa Llarga on Wednesday.

Guardiola will be without Daniel Alves, Adriano, Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Thiago Alcantara and Isaac Cuenca, who are on international duty, and the injured Pedro and Ibrahim Afellay.

The reduced first team squad means that Barca have been forced to call up five players from the reserve team who trained alongside the 13 available first team members ahead of the match.

"We will not be overconfident against L'Hospitalet," Guardiola told www.marca.com.

"Tomorrow will play the club, look for the goal, and defend well."

However, Guardiola played his cards close to his chest by announcing: "We will decide the team tomorrow."

The Barcelona coach is not concerned about the artificial pitch at Feixa Llarga and believes his much-changed side who scored a last minute goal to clinch a draw against Athletic Bilbao to preserve their unbeaten start to the season will be able to cope with the surface.

"The field is in good condition," Guardiola said.

"We have played in all conditions and we have adapted and will not be an exception now.

"We will try to make a good game against a team that has its plus points."

L'Hospitalet coach Jordi Vinyals revealed that the chance of playing at the Nou Camp in the second leg next month is the motivation for his players in Wednesday's match.

"We face the game with high hopes and eager to win, not in the sense of result, but in the personal improvement of the team and the individual improvement of the players," Vinyals said.

"I promised the players that if they made a team of champions play 90 minutes all would, including those who are veterans, have more chance to play at the Nou Camp."


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