Confidencial: Setién knows what Barça have to do: Go on the attack


Despite having a positive result from the first leg against Napoli, Setien knows he must aim higher than simply reaching the quarter finals

El Barça sigue preparando el partido ante el Nápoles | EFE

Football is often about finding the most logical solution. When you talk about knockout rounds, you have to focus on the value of away goals counting double. Whilst in leagues, the only thing you need to be is consistent so you acquire more points than anybody else.

Sergi Capdevila


Behind both of those objectives, there's a mountain of hard work and structure. The problems come when you overcommit trying to reach those high points totals or in those home leg matches - you can be punished. For that reason, amongst other factors, Quique Setien doesn't want to take the 1-1 result Barça achieved in San Paolo for granted. And, according to what SPORT has heard, the club is going all out to kill the tie off immediately at the Camp Nou.


Setien isn't content with simply progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League but he wants Napoli to mark a before and after moment. He wants to set an example against the Italians which will boost the team's morale going into the latter stages of the tournament.

Pie de foto | AUTOR FOTO

The LaLiga run-in did a lot of damage to the team's self-belief. A lot of points were post and morale took a knock after the team's weaknesses were exposed in the rush to finish the league. Even the club captain, the usually quiet Lionel Messi, spoke up and criticised the team - and coaching staff - for failing to maintain the standards expected of Barça. The club are just four matches away from winning the Champions League. Failure to do so would make this one of Barça's worst seasons in recent history.

Setién quiere contagiar a sus jugadores y que se crean que pueden ganar esta Champions | Valentí Enrich


Setien and his staff were experimenting with a 3-5-2 system in order to pack the midfield, leaving just Messi and Suarez upfront. Now that Griezmann has returned to full fitness, it looks like the Frenchman will start against Napoli and the team will return to 4-3-3. The main question now appears to be whether Setien chooses the experience of Rakitic or the youthful energy of Riqui Puig.

Rakitic would occupy the Busquets role if he starts, whereas Puig's inclusion would see Frenkie de Jong drop into that position. Whatever Setien decides, the message from him and his staff is that the match is a great opportunity to lay down a marker. He wants his side to attack from the first minute against Napoli. Now it remains to be seen if that's how the match plays out.


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