Barcelona boss plays mind games with Bayern

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Barcelona chief Tito Vilanova still hopes his side can turnaround their semi-final Champions League tie with German giants Bayern Munich after his side went down 4-0 at the Allianz Arena last week.

Munich are in the driving seat but an early goal for the Catalan giants could really make the Bundesliga outfit face the music tonight.

Barca conductor Tito Vilanova revealed to SkySports: "We are Barca and we cannot give up on a tie, there are still 90 minutes left. I don't think Bayern believe it is over either though they are better off than we are.

"If we lose, at least we have to do it with our heads held high and playing on until the end of the match, not throwing in the towel and making our fans proud of us."

Vilanova is attempting to plant a seed of doubt in the Bayern camp, suggesting that if his Barca side are allowed to play their sweet football then the tie could completely open up. Everyone will hope Lionel Messi is back on song after it was evident he was playing hurt at the Allianz Arena last week.

Barca will be without ex-Liverpool man Javier Mascherano and curly haired Carles Puyol, who are both nursing injuries. Marc Bartra appears to be the likely centre-half partner for Gerard Pique in the heart of defence tonight.

Pique mentioned: "It is a day when we should all become kids again to be as excited and hopeful as they are and lose our common sense a little bit. That might get us through, but it is very difficult."

Barca will also be without midfielder Sergio Busquets and defender Eric Abidal after they failed late fitness tests with Alex Song on standby to step into midfield. Bayern will have striker Mario Mandzukic back from from a one-match suspension and he might replace Mario Gomez up top.

Javi Martinez, Gomez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo, Dante and Philipp Lahm are all one caution away from missing the final.

Dante is slightly under the weather with illness and will have his fitness tested before the match while Holger Badstuber and Toni Kroos remain sidelined.

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European News
Gerard Pique

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