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Barça learned on Tuesday who they’ll play next in the VELUX EHF Champions League. And it will be RK PPD Zagreb, with the first leg in Croatia between April 8 and 12 and the return at the Palau Blaugrana between April 15 and 19. Make it through that tie and FCB will be on their way to the Final Four in Cologne on May 30 and 31.
Xavi Pascual expects tough games
“There are no easy teams in the quarter finals” said the Barça manager after learning of the draw. “They have beaten some strong teams at home and knocked out Kolding in the round of 16.” Zagreb are managed by Montenegrin Veselin Vujovic, who was at Barça from 1988 to 1993. “He does a lot tactically and strategically, because that was one of his strong points as a player” said Pascual. “We are going to have to prepare well for this because we’ll be facing a different kind of defence than we are used to. They have a good blend of sprightly young players and veterans who can hold the pace, as well as great wide players and penalty-takers. ”
He is well aware that Barça have lost the away leg of quarter finals three years on the trot. “Playing away from home in the Champions League is never easy” he said. “We’ll try to get a good result, knowing that any mistakes could give them a big lead”.
Saric enthused by fixture
Barça’s Bosnian keeper Daniel Saric knows Zagreb well, and commented that “they’re playing well and eliminated Kolding, who I’d say are a better team. We must remember that big teams have lost on their court but they’re not so strong away. They’ll be two very different games.”
“Vujovic is full of character and gets that over to his team, especially in defence. Their first line of defence is especially strong. And there will be a great atmosphere in Zagreb, I love games like these.”
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