Fri, December 18, 2009
Sports > Soccer

Barcelona midfielder Xavi expects better show in World Club final

2009-12-18 07:34:57 GMT2009-12-18 15:34:57 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MADRID, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez expects his side to improve when it plays Argentinean outfit Estudiantes in the final of the World Club Championships on Saturday.

Barcelona beat Mexican outfit Atlante in the semi-final of the competition, which is being celebrated in Abu Dhabi and now only Estudiantes stands between the Catalan side and a historic sixth trophy in 2009.

The semi-final was more difficult than expected for Barcelona and the Catalans had to come back from a goal down. Sergio Busquets, Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Messi scored the goals to give them a 3-1 win, but Xavi expects his side to perform better in the final.

"Estudiantes is a good side, they know what they are doing and we have to keep tight on their players if we don't want to have any scares during the match," he said in an interview with Friday's edition of sports paper Diario AS.

"We know that every game is difficult, because the rival is always motivated as they are playing the game of their lives," he said, before explaining that Barcelona would be looking to control the ball and stop its rivals playing.

"That is what we are aiming to do. I am certain that we will see a different Barcelona than the one that played Atlante. We had problems in that match," he said.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will have to make at least one change to his starting 11.

Andres Iniesta has been confirmed with a torn thigh muscle and will be out of action for the next two weeks. That means Leo Messi, who has fully recovered from his ankle injury, will be back in the team. Busquets could also be rested with Seydou Keita starting alongside Xavi in midfield.

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