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Tito Vilanova, a la Ciutat Esportiva

Hours before the game in Prague against Viktoria Plzen, Barça’s coaching staff had a clear list of objectives for their squad: win the game therefore ensuring qualification to the knockout round of the Champions League, and then focus on taking the top spot in the group. “In the Champions League, and with the our schedule in mind, it is vital that we win tonight. We must secure our place in the knockout round, ” said Vilanova.

The opponent, not unknown

On Plzen, Pep Guardiola’s assistant has no doubts: “In the Camp Nou they showed us what they were capable of. They are not a simple team, not at all. They defend compactly, with power and together.  When they attack they are daring and cheeky, as they proved in Milan.”

Team injuries

Vilanova said this about Xavi: “We don’t want to run any risks with any of our footballers. We’ll talk to the medical staff and we will rely on their opinion to let him [Xavi] play or not. So, for now, we have to wait and see.”

Everyone is important

Winning tonight “would mean taking an important step forward in the season, it would give us the liberty to rotate players in the final two games,” said Vilanova. “We’ve always sought to have a small roster so that everyone is able to participate. If we have players out injured, we can always call on the reserves,” Vilanova added.

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