Xavi: Details decisive in CL

Xavi Hernandez is not looking forward to playing Atletico Madrid in the Champions League this week.

The midfielder told a Press conference that far from welcoming the domestic opponent, it’s a case of familiarity breading contempt.

“I don’t like playing against Spanish sides in the Champions League as we know each other well,” Xavi said.

“They’re a difficult rival who defend well and can counter.

“The game will be decided by small details.”

Barca host Atleti for the first-leg on Tuesday with the return at Vicente Calderon a week later.

“Atletico are a direct rival and they know how to play,” Xavi continued.

“There will be very few chances on goal and our strategy will be important. It could go either way.

“In games against Atleti we don’t normally have a good time. They close up well and are terrific on the break.

“The key will be not conceding an away goal. We can’t give away fouls or corners as they’re good on dead balls.

“Also, Diego Costa is in spectacular form. He can make something from nothing.

“[Atletico’s strong points are] faith and intensity in each game. Diego Simeone’s winning mentality is important.”

Xavi added, however, that despite his concern at the prospect of playing Los Colchoneros, he believes Barca are well-placed for the challenge.

“We’re in good shape, with a lot of hope and motivation,” he said.

“After the Clasico we’re good physically and mentally.

“The handicap is having the second-leg at the Calderon.”

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