Luis Enrique has backed Barcelona to secure another historic comeback when Juventus visit the Nou Camp on Wednesday night (19 April) – as the Catalans will be looking to overturn a 3-0 deficit from the first leg to reach the Champions League semi-finals.
Barcelona have enjoyed up and downs in La Liga and the Champions League since the beginning of the 2016-2017 season. However, their form in front of their fans in the European cup still give them good reason to believe in another comeback.
Stats prove that any of the wins racked up against Celtic (7-0), Manchester City (4-0) or Borussia Monchengladbach (4-0) in the group stage, as well as the historic 6-1 win over Paris Saint Germain in the last 16, would be enough to knock out Juventus and reach the semi-finals on Wednesday night.
Luis Enrique is convinced that Barcelona could defy the odds again but believes that his side would need to score five goals – as he also expects the Serie A giants to score one.
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"The PSG was difficult because we needed to be calm and with a good rhythm with the ball, but also frenetic without the ball. We needed four goals, this time only three, but bearing in mind that the opponent will score, our goal will be to get five," the Barcelona boss said in the press conference ahead of the game.
"We will try right until the end. Those who experienced the night against PSG at Camp Nou will have another chance to enjoy an historic evening. Right until the 95th minute we have to be united.
"We have to get the fans involved in our game and our intensity. We need Camp Nou to bounce to experience another special evening. Many results at home and the recent comeback against PSG are statistics that invite optimism. So, we have to create a collective crazy atmosphere so our players can perform at their best."
Neymar was the Man of the Match in the historic comeback against PSG and will be fresh against Juventus after missing the 3-2 win over Real Sociedad due to suspension. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi used the game against the Basque side as a warm-up ahead of the Champions League clash by scoring a brace.
Luis Enrique hopes those two and Luis Suarez to be at their best on Wednesday night as he knows that being clinical up front will be crucial to go through the semi-finals.
"If we score the first goal, Camp Nou will get the second and the third will come by itself," the Barcelona boss added. "The key will be to clinical in front of goal, create chances to dent our rivals' confidence...calm the emotions of our players and attack, attack and keep attacking."
Meanwhile, Luis Enrique also provided positive news in the injury front as Javier Mascherano will be ready to return to action after having recovered from a calf injury.
"Mascherano's recovery is good news. He is in perfect shape and will be available for tomorrow," Luis Enrique confirmed after the former Liverpool star, Arda Tuan and Jeremy Mathieu completed the Tuesday's training session with their rest of teammates.
Furthermore, the boss also hailed the importance of the return of Sergio Busquets after the Spaniard missed the first leg due to suspension.
"Getting him back is always great news. He is one of the most tactically intelligent players there is and a key member for us. The more he can do, the better for us."
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