Jurado: Spartak can test Barca

Spartak Moscow new boy Jose Manuel Jurado says the Russians have what it takes to cause Barcelona problems on Wednesday.

The clubs meet at the Camp Nou in the opening round of fixtures in Group G of this season's Champions League.

Former Real Madrid and Atletico playmaker Jurado teamed up with compatriot Unai Emery after agreeing to move to Spartak on a season-long loan from Bundesliga club Schalke recently, and is looking forward to the encounter, even if Barca's early-season form suggests it could be a long night for the Russians.

“It will be very complicated, but we are not going to give up,” he told AS. “We know what we need to do to make their lives as hard as possible, although I am sure they will be determined to put in a good performance in front of their own fans.”

Jurado admits he was impressed by the Catalan side's display in beating Getafe 4-1 away on Saturday to make it four wins out of four at the start of the Liga season.

“You have to just sit down and enjoy the combination football that they play,” he continued. “They play one or two-touch football better than anybody. Xavi and Andres Iniesta are the best of the lot in that regard. And even with Andres out, Thiago Alcantara can stand in for him. He was excellent at the Coliseum.”

The 26-year-old, who has overcome a slight knee injury, reckons former Almeria and Valencia coach Emery will prove a hit in Russia, despite an inconsistent start to the new campaign.

“He is the principle reason for me coming here,” said the Cadiz native. “He wanted me and showed confidence in me, and Schalke ended up allowing me to join on loan for a year.

“Unai works hard and works well. Little by little he is getting used to the culture. Acclimatising is not easy, but he is a fighter. I am sure that his idea for playing good football will win through in the end.”

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