Barcelona look to CL after shock defeat to Osasuna

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Barcelona will try to put Saturday’s shock Spanish league loss to Osasuna behind them when they continue their Champions League defence on Tuesday.

They travel to face Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their last-16 tie, only three days after the loss.
However Leverkusen have played down their own chances, sporting director Rudi Voeller saying: “We’re not dreamers but realists.”

However, the game at the BayArena is now attracting the most attention, especially following Barcelona’s 3-2 defeat by Osasuna, a second defeat of the season which further harmed the defence of their La Liga title, leaving them trailing table-toppers Real Madrid by 10 points.

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has insisted the Catalans are focused on all competitions.

“We’ll fight to the end in all three competitions, whoever thinks the opposite is wrong,” he warned. “We have to give everything every game, and we’ll do this until the end of the season.”

With Tuesday’s trip to Leverkusen in mind, Guardiola chose to rest midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez for the Osasuna defeat but both are likely to start in Germany.

However, midfielder Sergio Busquets is a doubt after missing two games but will travel with the team.

Leverkusen have problems of their own at present having claimed only one win from their last seven games. The club is also at odds with midfielder Michael Ballack after managing director Wolfgang Holzhaeuser described his transfer back to the club as a “failure”.

Ballack will not play on Tuesday after tearing a calf muscle in training on Sunday and he is joined on the sidelines by fellow midfielder Sydney Sam and striker Eren Derdiyok, both of whom have foot injuries (the latter after stepping on broken glass in his bathroom last week).


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