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Mark van Bommel says Antwerp ‘aren’t afraid’ of Barcelona test in Champions League

The two teams meet on Tuesday


Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel says his team aren’t afraid of Barcelona as they prepare for their first ever Champions League group stage game.

Van Bommel is back at Barcelona on Tuesday and knows he will face a stern test from the Catalan giants.

However, he’s told a pre-match press conference that his players won’t change the way they play for Xavi’s side and do not fear their opponents.

“Barcelona have one of the best offensive lines in the Champions League, and overall they are excellent. We will try to focus on our defence,” he said.

“It’s going to be a very complicated match because Barça are a great team, but we are not going to change our game. We will try to make it difficult for them, and we are not afraid.

“We are going to play football as we know how to. We will try to give everything we can. We have to be realistic, in our first time in the Champions League.”

Van Bommel was also asked about Lamine Yamal and felt there are some similarities to when Lionel Messi was breaking into the first team at Barca.

”I coincided with Messi’s beginnings. In Barcelona there are always very good young people coming out, they have a great youth team,” he said.

“In the end it doesn’t matter how old you are if you know how to play football well.”

Tuesday’s match will be the first time that Barcelona and Antwerp have ever met in UEFA competition.

Antwerp are in Europe’s top competition after completing the double last season in Belgium, winning the league title for the first time in 66 years.

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