MOSCOW, November 19 (R-Sport) - The freezing Russian winter and a plastic pitch will not hold Barcelona back when they seek vital Champions League points against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday, midfielder Cesc Fabregas said Monday.
Sub-zero temperatures are predicted for the game, while the artificial turf at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium has played its part in many upset wins, such as when England blamed the surface for their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Russia in 2007.
“No problems will occur with the climate and the artificial pitch because we have all played during our careers in the heat and in the cold, on natural and artificial surfaces,” Fabregas said.
“We’ll have to watch the bounce of the ball during training and see how to run on this pitch. But I think we shouldn’t worry a lot. You have to concentrate on the game from the opening minutes, that’s the main thing.”
Barcelona are able to qualify for the knockout stages with a win, while the Russians need all three points to stay in the competition.
Two late Lionel Messi goals gave Barcelona a 3-2 win over Spartak at the Camp Nou in September after the Russians led with 20 minutes remaining.
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.
Barcelona miss forward Alexis Sanchez, who is injured.