Barcelona boss Quique Setien will be managing his first ever Champions League game and he is excited about taking on Napoli at the San Paolo Stadium. Barca come into the clash having won their last three games after being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletico Bilbao at the beginning of February.
However, Setien has taken the decision to include five B team players in his squad that will travel to Italy, due to the current injury crisis at the club.
The Catalan giants are without full-backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba, along with the striker Luis Suarez and winger Ousmane Dembele.
Barcelona come into the game having beaten Eibar 5-0 at the weekend, during which Setien rested Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique in the second half of the match.
Setien knows he is under pressure for his side to perform in the Champions League this season after having been knocked out of the competition in far from ideal circumstances for the last two years.
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Last season, Barca were knocked out by Liverpool after the Reds overturned a 3-0 first leg defeat by winning 4-0 at Anfield.
And the season before that Roma knocked Barcelona out in the quarter-finals on away goals.
“The reality is that we’ve spoken very little about [Roma and Liverpool], although I’m sure they’ll have it in their minds,” Setien said.
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“Maybe it’s not comparable. We’ve experienced incredibly tough games and I think the team is fine.
“The team is confident that we’ll continue in this dynamic, I trust that we’ll maintain the level that we’ve been giving for some time.”
Ahead of the clash Pique admitted he and his team-mates can’t ignore the pressure they are under and suggested that Barca might not be favourites to win the tournament.
“We know the waters will not be calm if the results are not good,” said Pique.
“This match is too important to be thinking about other things.
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“We will concentrate on what we control, which is what happens on the pitch.
“In other years, we have reached this stage as favourites and haven’t won.
“Maybe we aren’t favourites this time but as we are Barcelona we always have possibilities.”
Although Setien has promoted several players to the first-team squad, they are expected to only act as cover with the Spaniard probably electing to make only a few changes to his team that won last Saturday.
The 61-year-old is expected to keep Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal, with Pique and Clement Lenglet ahead of him in central defence.
Junior Firpo is expected to keep his place at left-back, with Nelson Semedo on the opposite flank.
A rested Busquets should keep his place in central midfield, with Arthur Melo and Frenkie de Jong playing either side of him.
Ansu Fati could come in to replace Arturo Vidal on the left flank, with Lionel Messi taking up his usually place on the right wing and Antonio Griezmann leading the line.
Barcelona predicted line-up vs Napoli – Champions League
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Firpo, Pique, Lenglet, Semedo; Arthur, Busquets, De Jong; Fati, Griezmann, Messi
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