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Vilanova wary of Spartak threat

19 November 2012 21:55

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has told his side to expect a difficult match against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Catalans beat the Russian side 3-2 in the first meeting of the two sides at Camp Nou, and the 44-year-old is wary of the threat they pose, particularly with former Valencia boss Unai Emery in charge.

"Russian teams have made it difficult for us in the past," Vilanova told reporters.

"These days you can't beat anyone easily in the Champions League.

"There are no easy games. We have a lot of respect for Spartak and I believe that it will be a hard game just like the one at the Camp Nou.

"We know Unai Emery well and he has always caused us difficulties. He is a coach who always has a very organised defence and attack."

However, Vilanova said a loss in the Russia capital would not be the end of the world due to their remaining group fixture against Benfica at Camp Nou.

"Against Spartak we will try to win so that we can qualify, but if we don't, we still have a game at Camp Nou," he said.

Emery, meanwhile, is optimistic about Spartak Moscow's chances against Barcelona.

The fixture comes on the back of four wins from six for Emery's men and he believes that their good form could provide a springboard for them to claim victory, despite their opposition's intimidating stature.

"The fact that we are playing Barcelona means it will be a difficult game," he said.

"However, we have reason for optimism because we are also a strong team and have won two of our last three games. We will try to take any opportunities that we have and play our own game.

"Our goal is to get three points because are desperate to qualify and be playing in Europe in the spring.

"In recent times we have gone through a bad spell with injuries piling up but we have to deal with this. We know we will be without Artem Dzyuba and Aiden McGeady, which will make things harder."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
20 November 2012
Game week
5
Kick-off
18:00
Half-time
0 - 3
Full-time
0 - 3
Venue
Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki (Moskva)
Attendance
67325

Goals

0 - 1
0 - 2
0 - 3
39' L. Messi
 (assist by Pedro)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
2 16'
3
18
14 90'
4
8
6
16
10 27' 39'
17 36'
Coach: Tito Vilanova

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
25
27
19
5
7
12
13

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