Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has heaped praise on Villarreal prior to Wednesday night’s decisive second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
Villarreal are coming off of an exciting 1-1 draw with league-leaders Real Madrid and have been playing some of the more entertaining football in Spain this season.
While Enrique is confident Barcelona will take advantage of their 3-1 lead from the first leg of the competition, the manager is aware of the threat poised by his opponents on Wednesday night at El Madrigal.
“What it does is reinforce our results against Villarreal,” Enrique said when asked if this weekend’s result will give his opponents more confidence. “They are a great team and we know it.
“They are playing for a final and we know they can hurt us. They will try even harder than usual to create chances but we are also dangerous.
“We are in great form and I’m sure it will be a nice game to watch.”
When asked what he expects from Villarreal on Wednesday night, Enrique responded: “When they play against us they change their style. In other matches they always want to take the initiative, move the ball around and attack. They have very quick forwards and skillful midfielders. They are one of the best teams in the league.”
Even though Barcelona holds a two-goal advantage heading into the contest, Enrique insists he will not adopt a defensive approach against Villarreal
“That’s not our objective. We always go out to win every game and the result from the first leg will not change our line-up,” the Barcelona manager added.
Luis Suarez and Javier Mascherano are both in danger of missing the final should they be booked on Wednesday night. Enrique confessed the prospect of losing one – or both – of his influential players may come into play when he selects his squad for tomorrow.
“Of course we have that in mind and it may have some effect on the starting eleven,” Enrique concluded. “We’re playing for a place in the final and we’ll see what we decide.”
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