GERARD Pique believes home advantage can help Barcelona overturn a 2-0 deficit against AC Milan to progress in the Champions League.
A poor Barca display at the San Siro three weeks ago has left their European hopes dangling by a thread, but Pique insisted his confidence was high ahead of tonight’s second leg at the Nou Camp.
“I have a feeling that we can do it,” the defender said. “I believe that we have the talent to make it to the next round. We’re going up against one of the big teams in Europe but we have the Camp Nou on our side and one of the best FC Barcelona teams in club history. This team can do this and much more.”
Pique has no worries that Barca can get the goals they need, but admits the job he and his fellow defenders face is much more difficult. “A Milan goal would complicate things tremendously,” he said.
Assistant coach Jordi Roura has a full complement of players to pick from, with the possible exception of Xavi, who is still working his way back from a hamstring injury.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is taking nothing for granted against a team unbeaten in 19 home Champions League matches. “When the referee blows the whistle to start the match tomorrow evening we are starting at 0-0, so if the players do well as I believe they will then we can have a great evening,” he said.
“Then we will need a bit of luck and, if we get that, we can go through to the next round.”
Milan’s preparations have been hurt by news that striker Giampaolo Pazzini suffered a hairline fracture to his fibula during Friday’s league win at Genoa. They also have concerns over the fitness of French defender Philippe Mexes.