MOSCOW, November 19 (R-Sport) - Barcelona will be at a disadvantage when they face Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday because the Spanish giants know little about their Russian opponents, Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova said Monday.
Two late Lionel Messi goals gave Barcelona a 3-2 win over Spartak at the Nou Camp in September after coming back from 2-1 down, but Vilanova said there was still an air of mystery around the Russians despite the recent meeting.
“[Spartak coach Unai Emery’s] small advantage in tomorrow’s match is that our teams aren’t too well known to each other, so it’s not completely clear what to expect from each other tomorrow,” Vilanova said.
Spartak striker Emmanuel Emenike put pressure on the Barcelona defense at the Camp Nou, and Vilanova highlighted the Nigerian as a danger man for Spartak.
“They have very good players in their squad, for example the quick Emenike,” he said.
Earlier, Spartak coach Unai Emery vowed to attack Barcelona rather than mimic the defense-first approach that gave Celtic a 2-1 win over the Catalan team earlier this month.
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 injured forward Alexis Sanchez.