In the lead up to the crunch Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, Toni Freixia, spokesman for the Barcelona board, has compared the club's current manager Tito Vilanova with the future Bayern boss Pep Guardiola.

In what seems an unnecessary move, Freixia told Marca: "Tito wins all the comparisons with Guardiola, even the human aspect."

Bearing in mind Guardiola's remarkably successful spell at the Nou Camp - and the air of vulnerability surrounding Vilanova's charges this season, especially in the Champions League - the statement seems a tad premature. and perhaps on the verge of disrespectful.

However, Freixia's words show that Vilanova has the full backing of the Barca board. He continued by saying: "When he was presented as our new coach, he said that he should not be compared with Pep as he would always lose those comparisons. I disagree, though, and believe he wins on each front.”

Although Bayern's strong performances this year leave them as favourites in many critics' eyes in the clash of the European giants, the feeling in the corridors of power in the Nou Camp is that Barcelona are favourites.

"I see Barça as the favourites," Freixia added. "Barça cannot afford to not to be favourites. Barcelona continues to perform at the highest level and therefore, the dressing room, the club and the supporters remain very optimistic".

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