Shakhtar Donetsk are Pep Guardiola's nightmare draw - Barcelona need resounding Camp Nou win to avoid Ukrainian ordeal | Goal
Before the Champions League draw took place in Nyon last month, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola identified Shakhtar Donetsk as the team he wanted to avoid. Despite the prestigious clubs littering the last eight, Pep picked Mircea Lucescu’s Ukrainian champions as the most unfavourable tie, citing the considerable journey east as problematic for his modestly-sized squad at the culmination of another intensely competitive season.
Guardiola has a bad feeling | FCBarcelona
The FCB coach demands the utmost respect for Lucescu’s side, saying “they are a very strong opponent who have improved in recent years … it’s a great side, a super-team, they’re aggressive, they defend well and work likes animals … they’re a top side and that’s why they’re in the quarters, and that’s why they walked all over Roma and came top of their group ahead of Arsenal”.
Pedro and Maxwell declared fit | FCBarcelona
The whole of the Barça first team were at training in some way or other today, and the great news is that both Maxwell and Pedro, who trained on Monday, have been given the medical all-clear and are available for selection for Wednesday’s game at the Camp Nou.
Barça-Shakhtar Donetsk: Did you know… | FCBarcelona
FC Barcelona have won all four of their European home matches so far this season (5-1 against Panathinaikos, 2-0 against Copenhagen, 2-0 against Rubin Kazan and 3-1 against Arsenal).
Giving props to Victor Valdes | ESPN
His saves on Giuseppe Rossi in the first half were both top class, products of the Pep Guardiola ethos that Barca keepers must play like a sweeper ready to come far out of their comfort zone, right off the goal line and sometimes outside the penalty box. Valdes has become a brilliant reader of a breakaway situation and, in my view, is the best one-on-one keeper in the game.
Shakhtar Donetsk's Dmytro Chygrynskiy: Barcelona devour their opponents like a boa constrictor | Goal
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Dmytro Chygrynskiy has showered Barcelona with words of praise before the two clubs clash this evening in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Spain, and also bizarrely compared the Primera Division champions to a snake due to the manner in which they 'devour' their opponents.
Olympique de Marseille after Barcelona's Seydou Keita - report | Goal
It remains to be seen whether Keita is interested in a return to Marseille just yet, however, as he recently expressed a desire to stay at the Camp Nou in order to win more trophies with the Spanish champions. Aside from Marseille, German title-holders Bayern Munich are also keeping tabs on the Mali international.
Inter collapse to 5-2 defeat by rampant Schalke | Eurosport
Holders Inter Milan collapsed to a stunning 5-2 home defeat by a makeshift Schalke 04 team in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at the San Siro on Tuesday and face almost certain elimination. Inter failed to build on a first-minute lead and lost their shape completely as Schalke ran riot before the home side finished with 10 men after defender Cristian Chivu was sent off.
Rampant Real hit four goals to bury 10-man Spurs | Eurosport
Real, making their first appearance in the last eight since 2004, strolled past debutants Spurs after the 15th-minute dismissal of England striker Peter Crouch gave the home side's quest for a 10th European Cup crown a major boost.
Mourinho's Madrid would sacrifice style to best Barca | Eurosport
Mourinho is a collector and wants to win the Champions League with an English team following his successes with Porto in his homeland and Inter in Italy. But first he wants to win it with a Spanish club. He has made much progress in a promising first season, but his greatest obstacle is a longstanding domestic one: Barca.
Manchester United hold De Gea talks | Guillem Ballague
Since writing that United are very keen on the Atletico keeper, the Premier League club have since expressed that they would be prepared to meet the La Liga side’s valuation in the region of €20 - €25 million. With the decision very much in the player’s hands, De Gea is undecided. He is very much at home in Madrid, at his boyhood club and – still fairly young – his rapid rise means he is unsure whether he is ready to leave home.
Masoud undergoes foot operation | LFP
Osasuna player Masoud Shojaei went into the operating theatre on Monday to repair the fracture to his fifth metatarsal bone which he sustained during the game against Atlético de Madrid.
Struggling Almeria appoint Olabe | ESPN
Olabe, who will take charge of his first training session on Wednesday afternoon before being officially presented on Thursday, was Almeria's sporting director when they won promotion to the top flight in the 2006-07 season under current Valencia boss Unai Emery.