MOSCOW, November 19 (R-Sport) - Spartak coach Unai Emery vowed Monday to unleash his team’s aggression against Barcelona’s stars in their crunch Champions League match Tuesday.
Emery dismissed the defense-first approach that saw Celtic scrape a 2-1 win over Barcelona earlier this month and said he would draw on the attack-minded philosophy he deployed in league clashes with the Spanish giants when at Valencia.
“A lot of teams who’ve played Barcelona have played like Celtic and lost,” Emery said.
“When I was working at Valencia we played aggressively in matches against the Catalans, energetically. We had a lot of draws.”
“I think that’s not a bad record of meetings with them. We’ll take account of that experience.”
Spartak must win to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive, but Emery has not beaten Barcelona in 14 games as a coach, five of them draws.
Spartak led 2-1 at the Camp Nou in September with 20 minutes remaining before Barcelona surged back to win with two late Lionel Messi goals, and Emery said his side was keen to complete the job at home.
“In any case, we are trying for victory,” he said.
Spartak will be without forward Artem Dzyuba and midfielder Aiden McGeady, both injured, while first-choice goalkeeper Andriy Dikan is set to return from a shoulder problem that has kept him out of action since late September.