FC Barcelona boss Tata Martino believes that his team will be having a difficult time at the San Siro for a UEFA Champions League showdown against AC Milan.
“We are facing a great institution and in no way do we think this will be an easy match. On the contrary, it will be very difficult!” - Tata Martino
"We are facing a great institution and in no way do we think this will be an easy match. On the contrary, it will be very difficult!" Martino told fcbarcelona.com.
While each game may be as important as the other, the Argentinian boss noted that a win on Tuesday will increasingly boost their chances of making it past the group stages.
"They are matches against historic rivals and we'll try to do our best," he added.
"We will very nearly be qualified for the Round of 16 of the Champions League if we get a positive result on Tuesday. It's a decisive for our hopes of qualifying and that's why I thought it best to bring all 22 players [to Milan]."
Martino is getting used to the scrutiny of being at the helm of Barca and is courageous enough to hold himself accountable for whatever result the team gets.
"Barça have an exam every three or four days. I've felt responsible in every match that I've managed. Like always, I'll have to send out a team that play well and win," he said
He reiterated that dominance in all facets is a must to come up with a victory and is assured that given the quality of his squad, they will deliver.
"Barça need to be Barça. We must dominate the ball, and dominate the different alternatives we may encounter. That is what Barça have done over the years," he emphasised.
Mario Balotelli's presence is in doubt due to a thigh injury and Martino has this to say: "We must concede few chances. Balotelli? If he doesn't play that's good news for the other team's manager but bad news for the fans."
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi, who is still far from 100 per cent, will be able to take part in their game against the Rossoneri.
"Leo is well. He travelled to Pamplona to test himself for a couple of minutes. He's trained well and he is confident," revealed Martino.
"I don't think he's playing to be the best player in the world in the next five days. People vote on what's happened throughout the year."
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