Sports Football 28 Sep 2016 Champions League: Gl ...

Champions League: Gladbach out to ‘fight’ Barca

AFP
Published Sep 28, 2016, 1:46 am IST
Updated Sep 28, 2016, 6:49 am IST
Liga giants bank on Neymar, Suarez again in absence of Messi.
Borussia Monchengladbach players at a training session at home in Germany on Tuesday. The hosts take on FC Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)
 Borussia Monchengladbach players at a training session at home in Germany on Tuesday. The hosts take on FC Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)

Monchengladbach (Germany): Borussia Monchengladbach coach Andre Schubert says his side have nothing to fear against a Barcelona team short of the injured Lionel Messi for Wednesday’s Champions League clash.

Barcelona opened their assault on Europe a fortnight ago with a 7-0 drubbing of Celtic at the Camp Nou while the Germans suffered a 4-0 defeat at Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. But Schubert, whose contract has been extended until 2019, insists his side need not be intimidated. “There is no reason to be awestruck. We will approach the game with energy, joy and a willingness to fight,” Schubert told a Tuesday press conference.

 

Schubert’s new deal, announced on Tuesday, is recognition for steering Gladbach from the bottom of the Bundesliga when he took over in September 2015 to Champions League qualification by finishing fourth.

The show of faith in the 45-year-old coach is a timely boost ahead of the visit of Luis Enrique’s Barcelona, who are without groin-injury victim Messi. “We’d liked to have seen Lionel Messi at Borussia Park,” said Schubert. “We always like to play against very, very good teams, but the best player in the world will be missing.

 

“Barcelona are very dangerous going forward. We have to be brave enough to play our own football against this team. “We want to be true to our own style, but also react well tactically.”

Messi, 29, missed Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing away to Sporting Gijon and is due to also sit out their forthcoming Spanish league match at Celta Vigo. In his absence, Luis Suarez and Neymar came to the fore at Gijon, who played the final 10 minutes with 10 men, as Suarez opened the scoring before Neymar netted twice in the closing stages.

 

Bayern set to meet Atletico Madrid
After three consecutive semifinal defeats against Spanish clubs in the past, German powerhouses Bayern Munich head to Atletico Madrid for Wednesday’s group match with a point to prove.

After the highs of beating Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final came Bayern’s lows of semi-final exits to Real Madrid, Barcelona and then Atletico in each of the last three seasons under Pep Guardiola.

Atletico have won 25 of their last 30 home European games making the Estadio Vicente Calderon something of a cauldron.

 

Last season’s semi-final exit at the hands of Diego Simeone’s Atletico was particularly painful for Bayern, who won the return leg 2-1 in Munich after losing 1-0 in Madrid as the Spanish side reached the final on away goals.

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