Madrid, Nov 4 (IANS) Champions FC Barcelona are eyeing a win against BATE Borisov to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Barcelona defeated the side from Belarus away from home in the first leg of the fixture and after improved displays in their recent games they will be confident of doing the same again in the Camp Nou Stadium on Wednesday night, reports Xinhua.
BATE are likely to get men behind the ball and patience will probably have to be the order of the day, but with a potentially tricky La Liga game against Villarreal on Sunday, coach Luis Enrique will probably make some changes.
Ter Stegen will return in goal for Claudio Bravo, while Sandro Ramirez will probably get a start as he looks for his elusive first goal of the season. Javier Mascherano, who is suspended in the league this coming weekend, will also get a game, while this could be the perfect moment to give game-time to players such as Thomas Vermaelen and Adriano, whose early seasons have both been disrupted by injury.
The Camp Nou is likely to be packed with fans carrying pro-Catalan independence flags which have already earned the club two sanctions from European football’s governing body UEFA, despite not being illegal under either Spanish or European law.
The club has asked for the fans to take a stand for what it considers to be freedom of expression. Enrique dodged questions on that issue on Tuesday, saying he and the players were more focused on the game.
“We’re perfectly positioned for any positive thing to be made negative. I’m not getting involved in that and nor are the players. On Saturday we played a great game of football and won 2-0 in La Liga. The rest of it is part of the usual circus,” said Enrique.