Spartak v Barcelona preview

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova admits his side cannot expect to have any element of surprise in their favour when they take on Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Champions League.

Last Updated: 19/11/12 at 18:40

Tito Vilanova: Hoping Barcelona can retain top spot in Group G

Tito Vilanova: Hoping Barcelona can retain top spot in Group G

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Barca may be one of the most famous teams in the world but Vilanova felt the Catalan giants could still rely on a certain amount of mystery when they played in Europe - but not this week.

The main reason for that is Unai Emery, Spartak's Spanish coach who previously spent five years battling in the Primera Division against all-conquering Barca, first with Almeria and then at Valencia.

"Normally the advantage we have in Europe is that they don't know us as well as they do in La Liga, but in this case against Spartak that advantage disappears," said Vilanova.

Barcelona will welcome back Sergio Busquets for the Group G game after he missed the recent double-header against Celtic due to suspension following his sending off during the victory over Benfica last month.

He has travelled to Russia along with Carles Puyol, with the experienced defender now back to fitness after an elbow injury.

However, fellow defender Marc Bartra is out for at least a fortnight, so Sergi Roberto and Gerard Deulofeu have been added to the squad by coach Vilanova.

Since beating Spartak at home, Barca have moved on to nine points in Group G, two clear of second-placed Celtic who they lost 2-1 to in the previous round.

Spartak prop up the group with three points but can still claim a top-two berth if results go their way over the final two rounds.

"The defeat in Glasgow has complicated things for the Catalans. It's going to be a tough game (on Tuesday). In any case, our mission is to win," said Emery

"We will go out with this idea. We will try to take advantage of the chances that we'll have in the game."

Emery has a number of absentees for the clash at the Luzhniki stadium, with Romulo, Artem Rebrov, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Soslan Gatagov, Nicolas Pareja, Aiden McGeady and Artem Dzyuba all set to be missing.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Champions League Fixtures

Tuesday, 10 March 2015
19:45
FC Porto v Basel  
R Madrid v Schalke  
Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Bay Munich v Shak Donetsk  
Chelsea v PSG  
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
A Madrid v Leverkusen  
Monaco v Arsenal  
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Barcelona v Man City  
B Dortmund v Juventus  

Footer 365

Mesut Ozil defended by Arsene Wenger after Paul Scholes criticism

Arsene Wenger claims Paul Scholes "would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil".

Football Association names Martin Glenn as its new chief executive

The Football Association has named Martin Glenn as its new chief executive.

Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista out for up to three weeks with hamstring injury

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal defender Gabriel has been ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Mail Box

Why All The Hate For Robin Van Persie?

One Mailboxer can't work out why everyone is having a pop at Robin van Persie. Plus FA Cup anticipation, changing relegation, a Friday song and more Totti love...

Is Sissoko's Neck Very Distinctive?

Moussa Sissoko features in a really quite bizarre Distinctive Physical Features XI while we have mails on sexism, Angel Di Maria and Francesco Totti. Ramdom.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company