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Friday 15 December 2017

Barca's Pep braced for Leverkusen test

BAYER Leverkusen have a physical advantage over defending champions Barcelona and will be a tough nut to crack in their Champions League last-16 tie, according to Barca coach Pep Guardiola.

"They are physically a stronger team than us and they will be stronger than us when we do not have possession," Guardiola said ahead of tonight's first leg in Leverkusen.

"They are dangerous from set pieces and dead-ball situations and they are very strong in the air."

Leverkusen are the last team to beat Barcelona in Germany back in the 2001/2002 season.

Guardiola said Barca needed to control possession against a side who won all three of their home group-stage games, including successes against Chelsea and Valencia.

Concern

"My biggest concern is knowing Leverkusen well," added the coach. "I know their strength and their virtues. They are a German team.

"If we do not control possession then we will have problems.

"People think that because the league is difficult, we will simply win the Champions League and if we do not win it then it is a failure."

Barcelona stumbled to a 3-2 defeat at Osasuna on Saturday that left them 10 points shy of leaders Real Madrid.

In tonight's other Champions League clash, French club Lyon take on Cypriot minnows Apoel Nicosia.

LIVE TONIGHT

Bayer Leverkusen v Barcelona, Live TV3/Sky Sports 2 (KO 7.45)

Lyon v A Nicosia, Live Setanta Irl (KO 7.45)

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