Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has stated that he still believes that the club can qualify for the Champions League semi-finals despite only managing a 1-1 draw from the first leg against Atletico Madrid.
This result has put the Madrid team as the favourites to qualify since the return leg will be at home and they also have the away goal. Matches between the two teams this season have been very close, as Diego Simeone has managed to make his team even better and take them to new heights.
Even without striker Diego Costa, who has been a major reason for their success, they are expected to be strong at home. Atletico Madrid fans have been urged to provide a special atmosphere by Simeone, who has already got his players working on to plan to reduce the number of opportunities for Barcelona. He has spoken ahead of the match to control spaces where as Barcelona will be looking to control the possession. The Catalan club were distinctly average in the first leg and manager Gerardo Martino is expected to bring a few changes for this second leg.
Fabregas is widely expected to start in the second leg, but he may be used far ahead on the pitch as a false number nine.
"The key is to be together as a team. Individually we will give a lot because it is a big game and we hope to win a big tournament. We have done well in these games and we really want to win. That's our hope. It may be a harder game. When Atletico have to get a 0-0 they have good lines together in their team and don't have the pressure of their public. We have enough quality to beat them but we must compete at the same level,” said Fabregas.